Estimated National and Regional Impact of COVID-19 on Elective Case Volume in Aesthetic Plastic Surgery
Dana E. Bregman, MD1, Tracey N. Cook, MD1, Charles Thorne, MD2.
1Northwell Health, New Hyde Park, NY, USA, 2Northwell Health, Manhatten, NY, USA.
BACKGROUND: The most significant loss incurred by the COVID-19 pandemic is that of human life. The additional effects of the crisis on society, the economy, and healthcare are evolving. This analysis estimates the economic impact of the pandemic specifically with regards to elective, aesthetic surgical procedures. The American Society of Plastic Surgery (ASPS) recommended suspending elective procedures on March 19, 2020; it is unknown when cases may resume.
METHODS: Regional case volume and surgeonsí fees for the five most popular elective aesthetic procedures was obtained from the ASPS 2018 Plastic Surgery Statistics Report. Anticipated duration of the suspension of elective cases was derived from models developed by the Institute for Health Metrics and Evaluation (IHME). The resumption of elective surgeries was estimated based on the date when the model predicts no ventilators would be required to treat COVID-19 patients. This duration was used to extrapolate the volume of cases that would not occur.
RESULTS: There will be an estimated 1.3 billion fewer dollars collected in surgeonsí fees, representing a 20% loss compared to 2018. The South Atlantic region is predicted to have the greatest number of OR days lost; however the Mountain and Pacific regions are estimated to have the greatest loss in case volume and surgeonsí fees.
CONCLUSIONS: The cumulative impact of the pandemic on life, society, and the economy will be great. Estimating what these losses may represent in elective, aesthetic surgery may help inform surgeonsí responses during and in the aftermath of this crisis.
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