Coronavirus Illinois: Elective surgeries resume, bringing financial relief for hospitals

CHICAGO (WLS) -- Elective surgeries resumed in Illinois on Monday after being put on hold because of the COVID-19 pandemic.

The procedures are bringing in some financial relief to hospitals which have lost millions of dollars as a result.

Dr. Brian Cole with Midwest Orthopedics at Rush says although business came to a halt for two months, doctors were at least able to see their patients virtually.

"We only had two clinicians trained in telemedicine initially, within 48 hours I had over 100 of our practitioners delivering telemedicine," said Cole.

That helped Michael Finley, 36, who flew up from Jacksonville, Florida for knee surgery on Tuesday.

"He really set the stage, so as soon as this opened up, I'm here the day after they open and ready to go," said Finley.

Mount Sinai Hospital is ready to go too.

The stoppage of elective procedures cost the Sinai Health system almost $10 million, according to Airica Steed, the Sinai Health System Chief Operating Officer.

"We are staging this as a very slow gradual phased ramp up," said Steed.

Both Sinai Health and Midwest Orthopedics are prioritizing which procedures are done first.

Given social distancing and safety protocols, doctors want to remind patients that waiting for elective procedures are not as efficient as they used to be. But to keep up, doctors say they plan to work longer hours
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