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Will physician private practices weather the storm?

The coronavirus pandemic has led to serious cuts for physician private practices throughout the country. Nationwide, stay at home and shelter in place orders have led to a reduction and even elimination of elective medical procedures. This has had a significant impact on the financial footing of physician private practices.

Just how serious is the toll? According to researchers with the Medical Group Management Association (MGMA) who recently polled 724 physician practice leaders, the impact is massive. Upon review of the surveys, researchers found 97% of all physician practices reported the coronavirus pandemic has had a negative impact on their practice. Reports ranged from a 30 to 75% decrease in patient volume.

How are practices responding?

In addition to a reduction in volume, many practices are struggling to implement work from home technology and purchase additional PPE. As a result, almost half who partook in the MGMA survey respond they have chosen to furlough workers, including employed physicians.

Physician practices can also benefit from building relationships with local hospitals. Even those who are not directly affiliated with a hospital can build existing relationships. This can include a discussion about resources available from the hospital to help the practice as well as ways the practice can help the hospital. This could lead to added aid and revenue.

What does this mean for patients?

Unfortunately, in some cases it means patients are choosing to skip out on necessary preventative care out of fear of exposure to COVID-19. This means it is very likely that once government orders are lifted practices will experience a surge in volume.

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