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Pandemic Hits Primary Care Practices Hard



By Robert Preidt

HealthDay Reporter

FRIDAY, June 26, 2020 (HealthDay News) — Huge declines in affected person visits throughout the coronavirus pandemic have slashed U.S. major care docs’ revenues, a brand new examine finds.

As a results of decreases in workplace visits and charges for providers from March to May throughout the pandemic, a full-time major care doctor will lose a median of more than $65,000 in income in 2020.

Overall, major care practices nationwide stand to lose almost $15 billion, in keeping with the examine led by a staff from Harvard Medical School in Boston.

“For many primary care practices, particularly those serving the most vulnerable populations, these losses could be catastrophic, with many practices being forced to close,” examine writer Dr. Sanjay Basu, a school affiliate at Harvard’s Center for Primary Care, stated in a college information launch. “This could weaken the U.S. health system dramatically at a time when we need it to be at its strongest.”

Researchers warned that income losses would rise if there’s a second wave of an infection this yr or reimbursement charges for telehealth visits return to pre-pandemic ranges.

Such losses could lead on practices to shut and worsen an present scarcity of major care suppliers within the United States.

“Our prior work shows that primary care saves lives, and loss of primary care practices will translate to lives lost across the United States,” stated examine co-author Dr. Russell Phillips, director of the Center for Primary Care.

Co-author Dr. Bruce Landon, a professor of well being care coverage on the medical college, stated the pandemic underscores the fragility of the first care system within the United States.

“Over half of primary care practices remain small and physician-owned and these independent practices have limited access to capital and other support that could help them weather the pandemic,” he famous.

Researchers stated their findings present the necessity for a plan to help impartial major care docs and small, impartial practices.

The examine was printed June 25 within the journal Health Affairs.

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SOURCE: Harvard Medical School, information launch, June 25, 2020

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