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Physician practice viability under threat: AMA survey

By Carly Behm for Becker’s Hospital Review

A survey of 3,500 physicians by the American Medical Association looked at physician practice viability. Here are five key figures from results shared Oct. 28:

  1. Eighty-one percent of physicians surveyed in July and August said revenue remained lower than before the COVID-19 pandemic hit.
  2. Despite an uptick in telehealth visits, about 70 percent of physicians reported fewer visits total.
  3. Average in-person visits fell to 57 per week, compared with 95 weekly visits before the pandemic.
  4. Spending on personal protective equipment went up 50 percent or higher for about 2 out of 5 practice owners, but 36 percent reported difficulty for obtaining PPE.
  5. Nearly all physicians surveyed found federal financial relief helpful, but core revenue issues remain.

“Physician practices continue to be under significant financial stress due to reductions in patient volume and revenue, in addition to higher expenses for supplies that are scarce for some physicians,” AMA President Susan Bailey, MD, said in a statement. “More economic relief is needed now from Congress as some medical practices contemplate the brink of viability, particularly smaller practices that are facing a difficult road to recovery.”

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