Revenue, visit levels still down for most physician practices, survey finds

Physician practices have seen a 32 percent average decrease in revenue amid the COVID-19 pandemic, according to a survey from the American Medical Association. 

AMA surveyed a nationally representative sample of 3,500 physicians from mid-July through August about how COVID-19 is affecting patient visits, practice revenue and spending on personal protective equipment, among other topics.

Five survey findings:

1. A majority (81 percent) of physicians said their revenue was lower than in February. 

2. Nearly 1 in 5 physicians said revenue had decreased by 50 percent or more.

3. Eighty-one percent of physicians also said visit levels were still down compared to pre-pandemic volumes.

4. Despite a jump in telehealth usage, 70 percent of physicians said they were still conducting fewer virtual and in-person visits than before the pandemic.

5. Sixty-four percent of physician practice owners said PPE spending was up during the pandemic, with an average spending increase of 57 percent.

"It is clear the COVID-19 pandemic continues to have a negative impact on physician practices,

both in terms of decreased revenue and increased costs," AMA said. "While initial federal financial relief programs were helpful to practices that applied, it appears the road to recovery, particularly for smaller physician-owned practices, remains difficult and more economic relief is needed."

To view the full survey, click here.

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