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See the latest news and updates about COVID-19 and its impact on the Charlotte region, the Carolinas and beyond.

Novant Health To Resume Some Nonessential Surgeries

Novant Health
Tony Mecia
The Charlotte Ledger
Novant Health will resume some nonessential surgeries starting May 4.

Novant Health plans to resume some nonessential surgeries on May 4, loosening a policy it put into place in March to free up hospital beds for coronavirus patients.

It is also reinstating some postponed appointments, “starting with pediatric well checks, chronic disease and acute issue visits.”

In a statement, Novant CEO Carl Armato said the resumption of those services is necessary for patient health and that coronavirus cases have leveled off:

Since the onset of the coronavirus in our communities, some of our patients have delayed seeking care out of an abundance of caution. Putting off care indefinitely is simply not good for our patients — and in some cases, deadly. We urge our community to seek the care they need. At the advice of our physicians, and on behalf of our patients who need care, we have thoughtfully decided to resume some of these services. The number of patients receiving care for Covid-19 within our facilities has stabilized, and our team stands ready to care for the community.

An Atrium Health spokesman was not immediately able to say Thursday morning if Atrium is resuming some nonessential procedures and appointments.

Since early March, Novant and Atrium have undertaken a series of moves to prepare for what they expected to be an influx of patients infected with the coronavirus. So far, that surge has not materialized. County health officials said that as of last week, there were 90 COVID-19 patients hospitalized. They have not provided an updated number but said they have seen no significant uptick since then.

In a Ledger article on Wednesday, Atrium doctors said they were concerned that many patients were avoiding receiving crucial care because of fears of contracting the coronavirus at the hospital. They stressed that hospitals are safe places to go for medical treatment. Novant’s statement Thursday echoed those sentiments, saying the system had “seen a worrisome decline in patients seeking care for emergent conditions, including heart attack and stroke.”

Hospitals are also likely taking a financial hit because of their responses to the coronavirus. Atrium and Novant have both said they have sought additional financial resources to ensure they are financially prepared. Hospitals are accustomed to having their beds full, and they produce significant sources of revenue.

This story originally appeared in the Charlotte Ledger Business Newsletter and was republished with permission.