Anesthesia practice has 2 physicians retire early, cuts 40% of office staff — 5 details


Olympic Anesthesia in Bremerton, Wash., was devastated by the suspension of elective procedures, The Seattle Times reports.

Five things to know:

1. When elective procedures were halted, Olympic Anesthesia's surgery load dropped to about 20 percent of normal volumes.

"We pretty quickly realized within that first week how much trouble we were going to be in financially and as a group if we didn't do something," anesthesiologist Brian Nyquist, MD, told The Seattle Times.

2. Two of the practice's 15 anesthesiologists retired early, two became part-time employees and all of the group's providers had their pay cut in half. Four of the practice's 10 staff members were laid off.

"Even with that, we're still going to be in the hole pretty soon," Dr. Nyquist said.

3. Olympic Anesthesia applied to receive a federal small business loan offered through the Coronavirus Aid, Relief and Economic Security Act's Payroll Protection Program. It is awaiting word on whether the application was approved.

4. In the meantime, Olympic Anesthesia is waiting to resume elective surgeries. Washington Gov. Jay Inslee said April 24 that he wants to ensure providers have sufficient personal protective equipment before relaxing restrictions on elective cases, according to KOMO News.

5. Operating rooms will look and function much differently whenever they do reopen, according to Dr. Nyquist.

"There are new procedures in place, such as waiting longer in between patients so more air exchange can happen in the operating rooms — and there have been real challenges with not enough PPE and testing," he said.

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