Clinical and economic strategies in outpatient medical care during the COVID-19 pandemic

Reg Anesth Pain Med. 2020 Aug;45(8):579-585. doi: 10.1136/rapm-2020-101640. Epub 2020 May 31.


The COVID-19 pandemic has resulted in significant clinical and economic consequences for medical practices of all specialties across the nation. Although the clinical implications are of the utmost importance, the economic consequences have also been serious and resulted in substantial damage to the US healthcare system, including pain practices. Outpatient pain practices have had to significantly change their clinical care pathways, including the incorporation of telemedicine. Elective medical and interventional care has been postponed. For the most part, ambulatory surgical centers have had to cease operations. As patient volumes have decreased for non-emergent elective care, the financial indicators have deteriorated. This review article will provide insight into solutions to mitigate the clinical and economic challenges induced by COVID-19. Undoubtedly, the COVID-19 pandemic will have short-term and long-term implications for all medical practices and facilities. In order to survive, medical practices will need dynamic, operational, and creative strategic plans to mitigate the disruption in medical care and pathways for successful reintegration of clinical and surgical practice.

Keywords: clinical pain; economics; pain management.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, Non-P.H.S.
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Ambulatory Care / economics*
  • Ambulatory Care / statistics & numerical data
  • COVID-19
  • Coronavirus Infections / economics*
  • Coronavirus Infections / therapy*
  • Humans
  • Insurance, Health
  • Pain Management / methods*
  • Pandemics / economics*
  • Pneumonia, Viral / economics*
  • Pneumonia, Viral / therapy*
  • Telemedicine
  • United States