California orthopedic surgeons see caseloads dive amid hospital elective surgery ban

Practice Management

Hospitals in California's Central Valley are ceasing elective surgeries to prioritize staff and resources for its worst COVID-19 surge during the pandemic, ABC30 reports.

Surgeons at Orthopaedic Associates in Visalia, Calif., saw weekly caseloads plummet since Kaweah Delta Medical Center paused elective cases in early December.

Surgical backlogs could increase even more in the new year as Community Regional Medical Center in Fresno , Calif., prepares to stop all "non-urgent procedures" by Jan. 1, according to the report.

Seth Criner, DO, one of seven physicians at Orthopaedic Associates, said he has been able to shift some of his hospital-scheduled cases to nearby Sequoia Surgery Center, where he also practices.

"That's exactly what all of us at Orthopedic Associates, and I'm sure the other orthopedic guys in town, have done," Dr. Criner told ABC30. "You look at your list of patients that need surgery, and you start figuring out anyone who was scheduled for the hospital that you can move over to the surgery center."

Kaweah Delta hopes to resume elective surgeries by the "first part or middle of February," once the COVID-19 surge starts to subside, Dan Allain, Kaweah Delta vice president of cardiac and surgical services, told the news outlet.

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