Thousands of medical practices close under stress from pandemic

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Physicians and nurses across the country are retiring early, and thousands of medical practices are closing due to the pressures of the COVID-19 pandemic, according to The New York Times.

A July survey of 3,500 physicians revealed that thousands of physician practices have closed during the pandemic. About 8 percent of physicians said their offices had closed in recent months, which the Physicians Foundation said could total about 16,000 practices. An additional 4 percent of physicians said they planned to close their practices within the next year, according to the report. 

Financial stress is one reason physician practices are closing. Financial strain is also pushing independent physician practices to seek out buyers, such as hospitals and private equity firms. 

The stresses of the pandemic are also causing physicians to retire early. Nearly a fifth of primary care clinicians say someone in their practice plans to retire early or already has because of the COVID-19 pandemic, according to a September survey cited by The Times

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