Holidays mean more elective procedures

Holidays bring more than good cheer and presents; they also mean an uptick in elective surgeries, according to USA Today.

For example, Jeffrey Stimac, M.D., an orthopedic surgeon who works for KentuckyOne Health in Lousiville, worked part of the dayon both Thanksgiving and Christmas due to demand for his services, according to the article.

Although private insurers have mounted pressure on hospitals to reduce certain elective procedures to cut unnecessary care, many patients try to get elective procedures done late in the year, he said, before new insurance plans kick in on Jan. 1. Stimac's surgeries increase about 20 percent during that period, he said---a longstanding trend that has increased recently now that 80 percent of Americans have health plans with deductibles.

In addition, many patients schedule elective procedures during the holidays because they have time off from work and other family members are at home and can help with responsibilities, Frederick Greene, a fellow with the American College of Surgeons, told USA Today.  

Scheduling surgeries during holidays can also be a selling point for physicians who work in private practices, according to Greene. "You want to accommodate your patients. If I can't accommodate my patients, maybe someone else will," Greene, who previously served as chairman of surgery at Carolinas Medical Center in Charlotte, North Carolina, told USA Today. "There's a competitive mode there."

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- here's the article