Demand, ‘Extreme Shortages’
Require Hospital To Prioritize
COOPERSTOWN – Due to the demand for Coronavirus testing and extreme shortages worldwide, Bassett Healthcare Network today announced it is “prioritizing hospitalized patients for COVID-19 testing,” network President/CEO Bill Streck announced this morning.
In addition to limiting COVID-19 testing to “the most vulnerable, ” the network is “also postponing all non-essential medical, surgical and dental procedures,” Streck said. “These are extreme measures for an extraordinary time and it is still quite early in this pandemic. We must take action now.”
Bassett has several sites around the network set up for screening individuals who are concerned that their upper respiratory illness might be the coronavirus. Network Chief Clinical Officer Steven Heneghan, M.D., said those external evaluation areas will remain, but COVID-19 testing will not be available at those locations.
To be evaluated, appointments are still required – people should call 607-547-5555.
“As is typical during this time of year in our region, we are seeing and treating many individuals with the flu and common cold, as well as those suspected to have COVID-19,” explained Heneghan. “A call to 607-547-5555 allows people to get some questions answered about the new coronavirus and, if symptomatic and appropriate, medical advice on next steps.”
In postponing of elective procedures, Bassett said it is acting in accordance with federal recommendations from the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services. This includes non-essential medical, surgical and dental procedures at all network hospitals and outpatient surgical facilities.
Urgent (e.g. cancer procedures) and emergency surgeries will continue to be performed.
The decision allows the medical staff to focus on urgent medical care, Heneghan said, and for Bassett to “redistribute resources and focus on preparing for a possible sudden influx of patients due to COVID-19.”
Patients are being called with the news. Patients with questions regarding procedures they had scheduled may contact their practitioner.