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05/22/2020    Steven Kravitz, DPM

Can providing wound healing increase podiatry practice stability during COVID 19 pandemic?

During the past six weeks, I have had the
opportunity to speak with many podiatrists
representing private practice and wound healing
center physician staff. I’ve also reviewed the
responses from two APWH membership questionnaires
and moderating two APWH webinar type
teleconferences.

The best summary can be found in the following
statements from selected conference call
participants. The responses represent the overall
consensus from a broad geographic area.

New York City, Philadelphia and similar areas
have been heavily affected by COVID-19. Many
physicians find themselves unemployed as medical
centers and wound healing centers have closed.
Yet even in these areas podiatrists seeing Wound
Care patients seem to be better off than those
who do not.-----” While most of my practice is
down I have maintained all of my Wound Care
patients” Robert Marcus DPM

Chicago area: I would not survive in my practice
today were not for my Wound Care patients--
diabetic and venous ulcers. Additionally the past
several weeks it’s become very apparent that
diabetic patients not being seen have resulted in
definitive increase infection with gas gangrene
and risk of limb loss. Marie Schlund DPM

Tacoma Washington state: Our Wound Care center
has reopened. Patient volume is nearly 100% of
that prior to COVID 19. Members report that most
Wound Care practices in the area are generally
seeing pre-COVID volume after a short decline
about six weeks ago. Randolph Fish, DPM

Southeastern Florida: There is no doubt Wound
Care has stabilized my practice and stabilizing
podiatry practices in general during the COVID 19
crisis.” Bruce Holtzman, DPM

Northeast New York state: Patient volume is
approximately 65% to 70% of that prior to COVID
19. Includes Wound Care and trauma ER call. Scott
Picket, DPM

Central New Jersey: patient volume down but Wound
Care has been stable. Robert Gunther, DPM

Tucson Arizona - Patient volume for general
podiatry has been down 75% but nearly 100% of my
Wound Care has maintained and still maintains
that today. It has stabilized my practice and
also has maintained the viability of the wound
healing center. Patients who are not being seen
have recently developed increasing infection. I
recently performed two partial foot amputations
resulting from a lack of follow-up care.
Podiatrists not doing wound care should
definitely consider this to stabilize the
practice and provide needed care to patients.
Barbara Aung, DPM

Northern South Carolina Wound Healing Center:
Seeing approximately 80% of its pre-COVID patient
volume. This is using a combination of wound care
visits, home care with telemedicine using
enhanced visual telecommunication. The 20%
decrease in wound healing center follow-up is
linked to a dramatic increase of patient
hospitalizations with increasing infections and
risk of limb loss.

Central Pennsylvania: Any podiatrist not
practicing wound care should consider adding to
their practice. It has definitely stabilized my
patient volume during the COVID 19 crisis. Harry
Penny DPM

Steven Kravitz, DPM, Pfafftown, NC




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