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97% of Physician Practices have been Financially Affected by COVID-19

97% of Physician Practices have been Financially Affected by COVID-19

According to Medscape, a recent survey shows that almost half of medical practices are having to furlough Staff, and 1 in 5 have had to layoff staff due to the financial strain of COVID-19.

“Clinicians all over the country already likely know this, but a survey by the Medical Group Management Association (MGMA) makes it official: 97% of physician practices have experienced negative financial effects directly or indirectly related to COVID-19.

The survey, which was conducted April 7 – 8, also shows that 55% of practices have seen a decrease in revenue, and 60% have experienced a decline in patient volume since the beginning of the COVID-19 crisis.

A significant number of medical practices have also been forced to lay off or furlough staff in response to the COVID-19 crisis, MGMA said. Many practices that have not yet laid off or furloughed employees will consider doing so if the conditions persist over the next 30 days, the survey indicates.

Through April 8, 22% of survey respondents reported they had laid off staff. In the same period, 48% had furloughed employees. The survey projects that by May 8, if the COVID-19 situation hasn’t improved, 36% of practices will have laid off staff members, and 60% will have furloughed them.

The survey received 724 applicable responses, MGMA said. Approximately 75% of respondents are part of independent medical practices and employ fewer than 50 full-time-equivalent physicians. But the respondents belong to practices of all sizes and specialties, MGMA noted.

The bare numbers only scratch the surface of the pain that many groups and owners of physician practices are feeling.

“Not only has 70% of our revenue disappeared, but our physicians are still working every day, exposing themselves to risks, taking care of patients, and taking care of their employees by continuing to pay them while they have taken over a 50% pay cut,” said a representative of an independent anesthesiology practice in Alabama who was quoted by MGMA.

The MGMA survey report also cited a small independent practice in Mississippi that specializes in pain management. “All doctors and administrative staff have deferred their salaries during this period,” a practice representative said. “We have laid off most of our staff except 5 people.” …”


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