Surging COVID-19 cases across the U.S. could hold medical procedures back for the rest of the year, according to a new report from UBS analysts.
If the UBS analysts’ prediction proves accurate, medical device companies could face a challenging environment for the rest of the year, even as they provide the technology, tests and supplies needed to protect and treat people and manage the coronavirus.
Many medtech companies experienced a tough second quarter this year as the pandemic caused a curtailment of elective procedures — and sometimes even not-so-elective procedures — as health providers focused on managing COVID-19 and patients stayed away in droves.
Companies reported some recovery during Q3. The UBS analysts suspected a recent move at Cleveland Clinic is emblematic of how health providers are going to respond as an even bigger COVID-19 wave rolls through the U.S.: Cleveland Clinic has postponed nonessential surgical cases that require an inpatient stay through Friday, Nov. 30, but urgent as well as outpatient surgeries have continued as scheduled.
“We view this as emblematic of the approach hospitals could take as cases rise in a number of regions across the US – more localized, measured and temporary case deferrals than we saw in April,” said the UBS analysts.
Still, there are hospitals announcing suspensions, especially in the hard-hit Upper Midwest and Northwest of the U.S.
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