The United States (U.S.) now represents one-third of the world’s total confirmed COVID-19 cases (33%), and 28% of the total global fatalities, leading all countries in overall counts, and ranking just outside the top ten in both categories when segmenting the data per capita. Similar to other healthcare systems the U.S. acute market is struggling to combat the epidemic which has infected over 1.2 million Americans (3.8 million+ worldwide), and forced the world to collectively shelter in place to help slow and contain the spread of a virus that the world has not seen in our lifetimes.

In May 2020, Definitive Healthcare made outreach to Acute Care Organization (ACO) healthcare leaders across the United States to understand how the COVID-19 epidemic has impacted the acute hospital environment; uncovering the ways organizations prepared and adapted, along with what might be on the horizon as they work to accommodate a variety of challenges in this uncertain time. Leaders from 81 different ACO organizations participated in the study, spanning 34 different states, including participation and insight from facilities located in some of the hardest hit counties across America.

The collected insight further highlights the stark reality of the position the world finds itself in. Organizational leaders reveal their sentiment regarding their risk of closure due to the financial impact of the epidemic; their predicted time frames for reaching bed capacity; concerns over staffing shortages due to exposure; and the countless adjustments they have had to endure, as healthcare workers continue to help dig the United States out from the surreal situation in front of us.

The Impact of COVID-19 on Acute Care Organizations

In May 2020, Definitive Healthcare made outreach to Acute Care Organization (ACO) healthcare leaders across the United States to understand how the COVID-19 epidemic has impacted the acute hospital environment; uncovering the ways organizations prepared and adapted, along with what might be on the horizon as they work to accommodate a variety of challenges in this uncertain time. Leaders from 81 different ACO organizations participated in the study, spanning 34 different states, including participation and insight from facilities located in some of the hardest hit counties across America.

The Financial Impact of COVID-19

40%
of organizations indicated they are at risk of closure due to the financial impact of COVID-19
map 40%-18
2/3
of which are organizations consisting of less than 100 beds
hospitals map-19 2-19
44%
of organizations at risk of closure are located in counties where 40% or more of COVID-19 hospitalizations are patients in intensive care

How Organizations Screen for Suspected COVID-19 Cases

How Organizations Screen for Suspected COVID19 Cases chart-17

Organizations predicting to reach bed capacity at some point in 2020 are preparing in various ways

+11%
Re-purposed/converted existing areas within acute hospitals  
+12%
Re-purposed/converted non-acute facilities or offices
+25%
Borrowing existing buildings from public services

Bed Capacity & PPE

43% of organizations predict that they will reach bed capacity due to COVID-19 at some point in 2020. And, 72% of organizations have been obtaining Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) from means outside of their normal supply chain methods.

beds & ventilator-22
PPE Acute care section-20

30% of organizations predict a staffing shortage due to clinical staff exposure and/or contraction of COVID-19

Web COVID19-33
42%
are currently at their peak
Web COVID19-32
29%
are past their peak case date
Web COVID19-32
29%
have yet to reach their peak case date

Acute Hospital Staffing Adjustments

Organizations identifying as being at risk of closure due to the COVID-19 epidemic are more than twice as likely to have laid off non-essential staff already.

Staffing 2-12-2 84%
Re-purposed acute staff
Staffing 2-15-2 77%
Re-purposed non-acute staff
Staffing 2-13-2 63%
At-risk, non-front-line staffers work from home
Staffing 2-14-2 57%
Furloughed non-essential staff
Staffing 2-18-2 21%
Sourcing or attempting to source staff from less impacted areas
Staffing 2-16-2 15%
Laid off non-essential staff
Staffing 2-17-2 9%
Requested recently retired staff to consider returning
Staffing 2-19-2 3%
Hired/planning to hire medical students about to graduate

Ventilators: A Growing Concern

According to respondents, sourcing ventilators to perform daily tasks is a growing issue in ACOs.

beds & ventilator-23

The Impact of COVID-19 on Physician Practices

The COVID-19 pandemic has dramatically altered physician practices’ business models. In May 2020, Definitive Healthcare surveyed 80 physician practices across the US – including family practice, primary care, internal medicine, and pediatrics – to better understand how COVID-19 is impacting their environment. The study saw concerns from leadership centered around the fear of staffing shortages directly related to COVID-19 exposure and infection, along with unease regarding obtaining personal protective equipment (PPE) through traditional supply chain methods.

The following study results reveal the ways US physician practices prepared and adapted, along with what might be on the horizon as they work to accommodate a variety of challenges in this uncertain time:

The Financial Impact of COVID-19 on Physician Practices

36%
of practices indicated they are at risk of closure due to the financial impact of COVID-19
map 36%-06
69%
of which are organizations consisting of less than 10 physicians
staffing map-07
89%

of organizations at risk of closure reside in counties yet to hit their peak case date

TELEHEALTH

Within one month ALL respondents will have implemented telehealth at their organization

TELEHEALTH-graphic-text

For the purpose of this study, a telehealth platform is defined as a physician-to-patient video telecommunication platform.

83%
of organizations first implemented telehealth in March 2020

PPE

82% of practices have sourced or requested PPE via non traditional supply chain methods

PPE Physician section-08

Physician Practice Staffing Adjustments

Organizations identifying as being at risk for closure amidst the COVID-19 epidemic are more than twice as likely to have laid off nonessential staff already

Staffing 2-12-2 48%
Re-purposed acute staff
Staffing 2-15-2 34%
Re-purposed non-acute staff
Staffing 2-13-2 46%

At-risk, non-frontline staffers work from home

Staffing 2-14-2 4%
Sourcing or attempting to source staff from less impacted areas
Staffing 2-18-2 21%

Sourced, or are attempting to source, staff from less impacted areas

Staffing 2-16-2 20%
Laid off non-essential staff
Staffing 2-17-2 4%
Requested recently retired staff to consider returning
Staffing 2-19-2 1%

Hired, or are planning to hire, medical students about to graduate