Hospitals across the state put elective or non-emergency surgeries on hold while bracing for a surge of coronavirus patients. While the state’s hospitals were not overloaded with COVID-19 patients, many were forced to furlough staff and reduce pay due to losses during the shutdown.
Slowly, they are beginning to offer some of services halted at the start of the shutdown. Cedars-Sinai announced Monday that it has begun a phased reopening of its medical offices, offering in-person appointments and rescheduling medically necessary surgeries and procedures postponed due to COVID-19.
Telehealth options for care, which the health care organization says have proven popular, will continue.
“Although our patients can continue to access our care through video visits or via phone during California’s stay-at-home order, we are excited to also welcome them back in person,” said Dr. John Jenrette, executive vice president of the Cedars-Sinai Medical Network.
Jenrette said patients should no longer delay treatment for chronic conditions.
“We are reaching out to our patients to let them know it’s important to not delay their health care, especially if they have a chronic condition such as cancer, diabetes, heart disease or high blood pressure,” Jenrette said.
Staff are working to increase capacity at outpatient clinics and operating rooms in the coming days and weeks, steps that will rely on supplies of personal protective equipment for staff to ensure safety. Urgent care centers run by the health care organization will remain open as other sites are phased in, according to a spokeswoman.
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Written By: Tommy Lightfoot Garrett
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