How physician practice reopening is going in 6 states
Topic: How physician practice reopening is going in 6 states
Digging their way out of the disruption of COVID-19 pandemic, small medical practices are struggling with a wide range of challenges to their ability to successfully reopen their practices.
Shrinking patient volume and challenges accessing personal protective equipment (PPE) are combining to make rebuilding practices more difficult than ever, says a new survey by Denver-based Kupersmit Research.
Kupersmit polled practices in Arkansas, Alabama, Colorado, Connecticut, Georgia and Maryland in May and June on behalf of the AMA in partnership with state medical societies/associations. Respondents were generally from small office-based practices, except for Colorado where larger practices were polled.
The surveys are otherwise generally representative of their respective medical societies by specialty, geography and physician age, according to company president Benjamin Kupersmit. Most reported similar business concerns.
For example, the survey revealed in-person visits have fallen dramatically, and most practices project that patient visits will remain at depressed levels for the foreseeable future. A typical state reported a drop of more than 35% in practices that had 46 in-person patient visits or more per week before COVID-19. Projections for the coming weeks show some increase, but not a return to pre-COVID-19 levels.
Learn more with the AMA about CARES Act loans and other financial assistance available to physician practices.
Maintain financial viability
Physicians are also very concerned about the financial viability of their practices. About 75% are “extremely” or “very” concerned about practice viability in most states. About one-third have seen a decline in revenue ranging from 26% to 50%, with about one-fourth reporting declines ranging from 51% to 75%.
Federal funding is a critical backstop for practices as they reopen, Kupersmit said.
About three-quarters of respondents said they applied for CARES Act or Paycheck Protection Act financial assistance and most—85% to 95%—got some help. However, Kupersmit said while some practices reported general satisfaction with administrative process, feedback from some respondents indicated that the process was more cumbersome than they had hoped.
Those who were dissatisfied point to administrative hurdles with the application or with their bank.
If the need to reapply for more aid arises, respondents said they needed a more efficient process.
Learn why physician practices are losing out in the scramble for PPE, and how the AMA is advocating on their behalf.
Topic Discussed: How physician practice reopening is going in 6 states