COVID-19 Resource Center
COVID-19 Resource Center
April 24, 2020
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COVID-19 pandemic may accelerate volume of ophthalmology procedures in ASCs

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Patient confidence and safety concerns during the COVID-19 pandemic will likely quicken the transition of ophthalmic procedures away from hospital settings to ASCs, according to a speaker during an Eyecelerator LiveStream presentation.

“Trends were already shifting out of the hospital OR over to ambulatory surgery centers and will more than likely be accelerated because of this pandemic,” Nancy Lurker, EyePoint Pharmaceuticals president and CEO, said during the event.

In the second of a series of events hosted by Eyecelerator, several ophthalmic industry leaders discussed their views on post-pandemic financial survival and growth opportunities in the ophthalmology industry.

Patients are wary of hospital settings and the risk for possible contamination during the pandemic, which will continue to shift procedures to ASCs, Lurker said.

Three key takeaways of COVID-19's impact on ASCs

The ASC setting will likely have more flexibility and a better ability to handle the high volume of cataract procedures that were delayed due to the pandemic compared with a hospital setting, according to Laurent Attias, Alcon senior vice president of corporate development strategy, business development and licensing, and mergers and acquisitions.

“Hospitals will also have a tsunami of other conditions that have been postponed. In cardiac, people showing up for the ER has gone down by about 38% in the month of March compared with January and February. This will have to come back into the hospitals, making their management of all these various procedures potentially more difficult and therefore providing a better focus for the ASCs,” he said.

The ability of an ASC to handle high volumes of surgery and its flexibility to adapt to new guidelines from CMS while catering to patients who want to minimize risk in a more controlled setting than a hospital will serve it well post-pandemic, Attias said. – by Robert Linnehan

Reference:

RePlan: Financial survival and growth opportunities post-pandemic. Presented at: Eyecelerator LiveStream; April 22, 2020 (virtual meeting).

Disclosures: Attias reports he is Alcon senior vice president of corporate development strategy, business development and licensing, and mergers and acquisitions. Lurker reports she is EyePoint Pharmaceuticals president and CEO.