Rothman surgeons drop pay to avoid employee layoffs, shift to telemedicine: 4 details

Practice Management

Philadelphia-based Rothman Institute reported its caseload has dropped after postponing elective surgeries due to the coronavirus pandemic, according to the Philadelphia Business Journal.

Four notes on how the practice is handling the dip:

1. Rothman doesn't want to lay off staff. Instead, the physician partners are temporarily foregoing pay.

2. Staff members' hours will be cut from 40 to 20 during the pandemic. Employees will be able to file for unemployment and still receive benefits due to this move.

3. Rothman surgeons are still performing trauma cases when patients would suffer permanent damage without intervention.

4. Rothman has nearly 38 locations in Pennsylvania, New Jersey and New York, and surgeons are turning to telemedicine to connect with patients and review imaging. The practice officially launched its telemedicine efforts on March 25 and received more than 300 appointment requests within the first few hours.

Patients can conduct telemedicine visits through their cell phones or tablets (via the Healow app) as well as on a desktop with a microphone and camera.

"We know that there will be a dramatic drop off in revenue," said Alan Hilibrand, MD, vice chair for academic affairs and faculty development for the department of orthopedic surgery and co-director of spine surgery at Rothman, in a March 20 interview with Becker's. "That's not going to happen right away but it will in the next two months. When operations resume there will be a lag time before revenues follow. Our first priority has always been to protect our employees — to protect them from getting the virus and also to protect their jobs. Thankfully as a large organization that doesn't carry any debt, we believe that we can weather this storm and protect our employees but things will be difficult. Inevitably, all of us will see much less income. From top to bottom, all physicians, management and employees."

You can call 800-321-9999 or visit the below website to find out if you’re telemedicine appropriate:

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