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AMA survey looks at COVID-19 impact

Physician practice viability under threat

In July and August, the AMA conducted a nationwide on-line survey of 3,500 physicians to better quantify the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on physician practices. See the summary findings of that effort on issues such as income, use of telemedicine, availability and cost of personal protective equipment (PPE), and usefulness of the various federal financial relief programs available to physicians. 

Key findings:

  • 81% of physicians said that their income this summer was still lower than it was in February, before the pandemic began to escalate.  The average revenue drop was 32%.
  • The use of telehealth expanded significantly with eased coverage restrictions, although this revenue stream did not completely offset the decline in in-office visits.
  • Spending on PPE is up, with physician-owned practices having the most difficult time acquiring these supplies.
  • Most physicians who applied for federal relief funds were successful and found it helpful.

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