Like nearly everything else in our lives, the coronavirus pandemic upended gastroenterology.
We saw some GI practices report a 90 percent drop in endoscopy volume during the first wave of the pandemic as elective procedures like colonoscopies — the bread and butter of the average GI practice — were temporarily put on hold. This was a debilitating blow to GI practices around the country, most of which rely on colorectal cancer screening and surveillance colonoscopies for nearly 80 percent of their revenue. More importantly, reduced patient volumes meant some key staff lost their jobs and critical patient care was delayed.
Despite all of this, as we turn the corner on the pandemic, I don’t believe we should just seek to return to our old practice models. The future of GI is likely to look different from pre-2020 and we should try to anticipate the necessary practice changes.