Steven Kravitz DPM, FAPWHc, FACFAS-
President, Academy of Physicians in Wound Healing
July 22, 2020
Should Physicians and Other Providers Who Have Not Covered Wound Care In The Past Considering Doing So Now As Result of COVID 19 and Can This Stabilize Practice?
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A recent Podiatry Management E-news poll reflected that wound care services were least impacted aspect of podiatric practice by the current CV 19 pandemic. That’s almost an understatement because it was by far lower than any other factor. Surgery was down nearly 60%, routine footcare nearly 30% affected, but wound care less than 2% affected. Additionally, I continue to have numerous contacts with multiple providers in private practice and wound healing centers throughout the country. My personal general impression is that the majority report 75 to 80% of the pre-COVID-19 patients are returning, and an increasing number of providers indicate the return approximating 100%. Most recently a new finding is that some practices are reporting is much as 120% pre-COVID-19 because they picked up patients from surrounding practices have been closed or otherwise patients referred to them. These observations exclude demographic areas heavily hit by CV 19 with stay-at-home orders etc.
The question arises if one should consider adding wound healing to their practice or become involved in a wound healing center? Those investigating a change in practice should also consider that it’s more than likely that one year from now the impact from CV 19 will hopefully have passed and medical practices may be booming with patients that previously did not have care and have resultant increased problems. So close consideration is due before making this jump into wound healing. Keep in mind the fact that wound care patients may require special appointments; some will have odor that may affect other patients or the office. It is best to have special patient scheduling accordingly. Hours are demanding. I had been on call for ER and OR 24/7. There are many aspects the providers need to investigate before they get involved.
In short, don’t simply decide on a “knee jerk” response due to a decrease in current income and reflected patient volume. But think about total practice, the years that you intend to maintain involvement and the general type of practice you currently have before jumping into wound care. Last but not least visit wound healing centers, colleagues practicing wound healing in your area and any clinical experience you can observe.
This article is intended to provide information to consider only. Each physician should consider what is best for their specific practice and investigate, do research and use whatever other means are necessary to obtain more information and/or opinions. We cannot guarantee the information is accurate.