How Healthcare Executives Are Reacting to Coronavirus

Insights From Intrepid’s Medicate Event: How Are Healthcare Executives Reacting to Coronavirus?

During our recent Medicate Intrepid event, we discussed how California’s top healthcare executives are responding to the COVID-19 coronavirus and how it is affecting their businesses, employees and clients. Leaders in healthcare staffing, urgent care, orthopedics, autism, dental and more shared several important observations and recommendations, including:

Many companies are taking swift actions to manage or contain the virus’ spread:

  • Nearly all companies assembled HR and operational leaders to develop contingency plans for interacting with possibly infected patients and managing workforce shortages
  • Several executives are deploying tests of work-at-home systems to resolve potential continuity issues well in advance of the possibility of broader quarantines
  • Many companies have banned all non-essential travel and attendance of large conferences

Several provider groups are taking immediate precautions:

  • A therapy staffing business is working closely with each of its SNF clients to ensure their traveling therapists are not a conduit for virus transmission
  • Some physician scheduling teams are contacting upcoming patients to request that they cancel in the event of any flu-like symptoms or international travel
  • Some outpatient surgery groups are postponing elective procedures, regardless of the patient’s situation, until further notice
  • One provider of home-based services was already evaluating liability exposure for workers’ comp cases if any of their providers contract COVID-19 in a patient’s home

As a result, several businesses are experiencing and documenting business interruption “coronavirus addbacks”:

  • Some companies are already seeing supply chain disruptions and learning how many of their apparently US-based suppliers rely upon Chinese-manufactured inputs
  • One of the companies has a satellite facility in proximity of another clinic where a patient was diagnosed, which led to their landlord temporarily closing the building
  • Businesses that have historically relied upon a beneficial lift from cash-paying Asian tourists, like infertility and oncology, have seen decreases as these patients are unable to travel internationally

At the same time, several industry sectors are poised for substantial gains during this period, which they hope to sustain long-term:

  • US-based dental labs are seeing a massive increase in volume from dentists who previously sought lower-cost Chinese fabrications
  • Urgent care chains are seeing substantial volume increases with patients presenting with what they fear is coronavirus, but are in fact a much wider variety of traditional ailments
  • Diagnostic labs are experiencing an uptick in testing volume to rule in/out respiratory conditions with symptoms similar to COVID-19
  • Telemedicine technology platforms have seen a substantial increase in new customer in-bound calls, as the benefits of diagnosing patients remotely are becoming more apparent

And, most consistently, everyone is educating their employees on the essential importance of more vigilant hand washing.