U.S. surgical procedure volumes rebounded quickly after the initial COVID-19 shutdown in March and April of 2020, pointing to the ability of health systems to self-regulate and function at pre-pandemic capacity, according to a research paper published in JAMA Network Open, writes Healthcare Dive.
The JAMA paper looks at more than 13 million U.S. surgical procedures performed from the start of 2019 to Jan. 30, 2021. When groups including CMS recommended postponing nonessential surgeries in March 2020, the total surgical procedure volume immediately fell 48%. However, the fall in procedure volumes was temporary. The study found that surgical volumes returned to 2019 rates, except in otolaryngology, and remained at that level even as COVID-19 surged again in the fall and winter.