Elective procedures may resume soon

Published: Apr. 29, 2020 at 5:26 PM EDT
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Governor Whitmer announced that a decision on medical procedures that are considered "elective" will be coming in a day or so, but that decision may not be soon enough for hospitals who are feeling the loss.

"The Senate of course passed that resolution but the executive order of the governor is still enforced until that expires tomorrow if she choices to extend that. The impact of not allowing that order to expire is loss of additional millions of dollars to our community hospital and that would be devastating," said Jeremiah Hodshire, Vice president and operating officer at Hillsdale Hospital.

Hillsdale Hospital, like many others around Michigan, is asking to open their operating rooms to elective surgeries and procedures. Hodshire says his hospital immediately complied with executive orders to cease non-life saving operations, but now hospitals are beginning to take a hit they may not recover from.

"For a small, rural hospital like ours, we don't have a lot of external, a lot of programs outside of the hospital that generate the revenue that we can generate inside the OR. The OR is a large generator for us

and helps sustain the hospital in general," Hodshire said.

For Hillsdale, the closure of their elective procedures meant a chain of other closures this including additional x-rays, blood draws and aftercare procedures they typically do were also put on hold.

Bigger hospitals like McLaren are affected as well. they say they're beginning to look towards the future in providing the procedures that have been pushed back.

"We want to open the flood gates, we want to do it responsibility because there's new front-in process and procedures with COVID-19 testing of patients that will go in for a procedure," Kirk Ray, CEO of McLaren Hospital said.

Ray says a list of seven steps and safety measures will be taken when elective operations resume to keep patients protected. That includes keeping COVID-19 patients and elective patients separate and limiting the amount of people waiting in the hospital by using online check-ins.

Both Ray and Hodshire agree that each individual hospital will have their own list of elective procedures that will be taken in first when surgeries do resume.

When hospitals are given the green light to provide non-emergency treatment, they say they will be taking extra precautions.

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