In May 2020, Rick Pollack, president and CEO of the American Hospital Association (AHA), described a pretty dire situation for hospitals. “Hospitals are facing perhaps the greatest challenge that they have ever faced in their history," he said in an International Travel and Health Insurance Journal article. He chalked the troubles up to increased expenses from treating COVID patients, decreased income from cancelled procedures, and an increased number of uninsured patients because of the economy.
AHA May and June reports predicted that hospital and health system losses coud reach at least $323.1 billion through 2020.
What impact could this have on medical device demand? In July, Kevin Lobo, Stryker and CEO said in an earnings call that its “second-quarter sales declined organically by 24%, reflecting the impacts of COVID-19 across all geographies and the majority of our product lines,” according to a Seeking Alpha transcript.
Orthopedic surgeons did return to the operating room this year. William Barrett, MD described returning to full capacity a few weeks after resuming surgeries in May.
However, as COVID-19 cases surged again later this year, hospitals were starting to suspend elective procedures, reported Becker’s Hospital Review this month. It named 106 hospitals across the United States.