'Expenses will increase and revenue will decrease': A Michigan ASC admin's future projections

Laura Dyrda - Print  |

Polly Ladd, administrator of Crown Point Endoscopy & Surgery Center in Flint, Mich., outlines how her center has changed since reopening from the pandemic and how she's planning for the future.

Question: What is your plan for resuming elective procedures in the future? What will be different at the center?

Polly Ladd: There will be many different processes; everyone wears masks, patients and any caregivers that must be with patients, otherwise all drivers go to the car.

We will do strict screening at the door with a questionnaire and take the patient's temperature to decide if the patient is good to go. All staff will be screened as well. No more than 10 people in our large waiting room at once, chairs are six feet apart. Staff follow social distancing too. PPE will be strictly enforced; I am sure no one will be giving us a difficult time over that!

Turnover time for the procedure room will be longer due to meticulous cleaning. For the time period May 18-29, we allowed one GI physician to work using the two-room strategy to help keep the flow moving, although there will still be an increased turnover time. Discharge instructions will take place on the phone or outside. Many documentation changes will be made prior to re-opening to cover the COVID-19 issue, especially the consent. The pre-admission testing phone call will be longer and more entailed as we have to discuss Tier 1 appropriateness, ensuring patient safety, and follow-up.

Q: How has the pandemic affected your plan for growth in the next 6 to 12 months?

PL: It has affected it tremendously as we are mainly GI/endoscopy, we also do minor surgeries of the hand, GYN-urology and podiatry. We will not resume our surgeries until much later.

Q: What does the "new normal" look like for ASCs?

PL: It looks like slower schedules, decrease in productivity, and increase in PPE! Expenses will increase and revenue will decrease, it is going to be imperative to look at ways to be more cost effective than ever. Safety is and has always been our number one priority and that won't change, but the flexibility we had with paying staff more due to our revenue base and being so efficient, will definitely be greatly impacted. It's going to be a day-by-day adjustment and it will take some time to find that 'new normal.'

More articles on ASCs:
The 'new normal' for ASCs: 16 admins on how the pandemic will change the field forever
Dr. Thomas Vikoren: Same-day TJR 'made all the more important' by COVID-19
Indiana orthopedic practice with surgery center to open

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