Hospitals and doctors have seen significant portions of their revenue dry up as non-essential, elective procedures are appropriately halted amid the coronavirus pandemic. However, oftentimes elective procedures are sources of profit that help a hospital cover fixed costs, subsidize other unprofitable service lines and otherwise stay out of the red.
Fear not, demand for elective procedures is unlikely to disappear over the longer term. When the coronavirus pandemic is contained, plenty of patients will be looking to re-book or schedule their elective procedures.
However, in the near term, the disruption will be substantial. The longer hospitals have to defer revenue generating procedures, the more red ink they will face. These next few months are critical for a hospital or health system. A facility’s ability to manage through the pandemic will inform whether they are around to eventually deliver those non-essential services in the future and how quickly they can ramp back up and return to normal.