eNews July 22, 2020

The latest news affecting you and your customers… from the Independent Medical Specialty Dealers Association

How is COVID-19 affecting your business, your people, your customers? IMDA is a membership organization, and in times like these, we can all use some camaraderie. If you have a COVID story to share, advice to offer, or a warning to sound, send it to Mark Thill, IMDA’s communications director, at mdthill1913@gmail.com, with the subject line “IMDA COVID story.” We’ll compile them and send them back out to you.

Elective procedures expected to lag into 2021

Almost three-quarters of healthcare leaders don’t expect elective procedure volume to reach 100% until 2021, according to survey findings by the Alexander Group. To increase elective procedures, 63% of healthcare leaders say they plan to extend operating hours; 52% say they plan on staggering timing by procedure type; and 51% say they plan on increasing and/or introducing weekend procedures, reports HealthLeaders. The survey also found that 90% of healthcare leaders say they “likely” or “very likely” expect budget constraints to continue into 2021.

Post-COVID-19 ED visits opportunity for hospitals

Emergency departments aren’t recovering their lost COVID-19 volumes as quickly as outpatient and inpatient settings, but the lost ED volume might actually signal opportunity for hospitals. The data shows that patients with high-acuity medical issues, such as chest pain, are returning to the ED at a faster pace than those with low-acuity concerns, such as cough or ear pain, Jonathan Wiik, principal of healthcare strategy at TransUnion Healthcare, told HealthLeaders. Visit volumes remain down 82% for coughs and 40% for ear pain. Higher-acuity diagnoses, such as throat/chest pain, have seen a greater return in volumes, down only 24% compared to pre-COVID-19 volumes. “What that tells us is that patients are probably seeking alternative levels of care for less acute things that they used to go to the emergency department for,” he said.

Bill would address problem of imported adulterated medical devices

FDA would have the authority to destroy imported adulterated, misbranded or unapproved medical devices that it deems to be a threat to public health, if H.R. 5663 – the Safeguarding Therapeutics Act – ultimately becomes law, reports the Regulatory Affairs Professionals Society. The new authority would build on the agency’s authority to destroy adulterated, misbranded or counterfeit drugs under the Food and Drug Administration Safety and Innovation Act.

Prone positioning good for non-intubated COVID-19 patients

Prone positioning was feasible and effective in rapidly improving blood oxygenation in spontaneously breathing, non-intubated patients with COVID-19-related pneumonia, according to data published in The Lancet Respiratory Medicine. “Prone positioning in intubated mechanically ventilated patients affected by severe acute respiratory distress syndrome has been clearly demonstrated to be effective in reducing mortality,” Giuseppe Foti, M.D., associate professor and chief of the department of emergency anesthesia and intensive care at the University of Milan-Bicocca, Italy, told Healio.“[But] prone positioning in non-intubated acute respiratory distress syndrome patients has been almost never applied.”