CHICAGO—June 16, 2020—A new survey reveals 95% of osteopathic physicians experienced a decline in practice revenue with more than 40% anticipating their practice revenue will be cut in half or more as a result of COVID-19. When the pandemic rapidly altered the delivery of care across the health care system, small- and mid-sized physician practices faced economic obstacles similar to other hard-hit industries.
The nationwide survey of practicing physicians was conducted by the American Osteopathic Information Association (AOIA) and American Osteopathic Association (AOA) to gauge the financial toll that COVID-19 has taken on them. In total, 742 osteopathic physicians practicing in 40 medical specialties and 47 states responded. Approximately 40% of the participating physicians are in a primary care specialty.
“Perhaps the most important takeaway from the survey is that three-quarters of physicians said they will need additional financial support to continue providing quality patient care,” Ronald Burns, DO, President of the American Osteopathic Association, said. “Family doctors, internists, pediatricians, and OB-GYNs now face a financial crisis that endangers the health of our nation.”
Osteopathic physicians have remained steadfast in delivering health care on the front lines. However, with extraordinary sacrifices by physicians, many physician practices face financial stress resulting from a challenging combination of shrinking patient volumes coupled with required investments in telehealth.
“While the AOA appreciates the steps taken by Congress and the administration to facilitate health care delivery and provide financial support during this unprecedented emergency, it is clear that additional action is urgently needed in order to preserve patient access to care both during the COVID-19 pandemic and after,” Dr. Burns stated.
About half of physicians who responded to the survey have received a provider relief payment from HHS, and 42% received a loan from the Small Business Administration.
Closures of physician practices threaten access to routine care, such as vaccinations and wellness checkups, as well as the ability to seek care for more urgent medical needs.
“Maintaining our physician workforce and ensuring physicians can stay in their current practice settings will protect the country during a potential second wave of COVID-19 and support the long-term health of the nation,” said Norman Vinn, DO, Chair of the AOIA.
The American Osteopathic Association
The American Osteopathic Association (AOA) represents more than 151,000 osteopathic physicians (DOs) and osteopathic medical students; promotes public health; encourages scientific research; serves as the primary certifying body for DOs; and is the accrediting agency for osteopathic medical schools. To learn more about DOs and the osteopathic philosophy of medicine, visit www.DoctorsThatDO.org.
Jessica Bardoulas, Director of Media Relations
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