Starting this week people seeking elective surgeries may be allowed into some hospitals.
Bassett Healthcare Network officials spoke this morning about how they plan to implement elective surgeries.
While they have been doing surgeries on an emergency basis, they’ll now be prioritizing elective surgery patients with the greatest need first, like patients with cancer, or someone having extreme pain. Dr. William LeCates is the president of Bassett Medical Center. He says in order for a hospital to open for elective surgeries, it first has to meet a list of state-mandated criteria.
"New York State requires that we have available critical care capacity for an influx of patients that might come quickly and unexpectedly. So we are ready for that at any moment in time, and there are specific numbers that the State requires in terms of a percentage of available critical care beds, and a percentage of available hospital beds. This is all part of the formula for our being allowed to resume elective procedures," he said.
It is those elective procedures that the hospitals count on for a good portion of their income, and just like many businesses across the State, the shutdown which began in March is costing the hospital millions in revenue.
William Streck is the President/CEO of Bassett Healthcare Network. He spoke about the amount of money the hospital has lost.
"That’s tens of millions of dollars that are a consequence for our organization, but it will probably be 3 months, 4 months before we can really get a full accounting of the consequences here," said Streck.
Darlene Stromstad, President/CEO of Mohawk Valley Health Systems is also resuming elective surgeries with similar financial burdens.
"We’re on target to have lost $31 million by the end of May. So we have put many things in place to sort of stop that bleed, but we still need to sort of crawl back out of this financial hole," she said.
MVHS has furloughed staff and cut as many expenses as possible, but Stromstad says Medicaid and Medicare costs for patients are not fully covered, so elective surgeries and procedures are what helps the hospital break even. Rome Memorial and Oneida Health have also resumed elective procedures.