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Physician Revenue Decreases During Covid-19 Pandemic

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The most pressing concern to the practicing physician is exposure to the Covid-19 virus.

WRONG!

Many physicians are experiencing personal financial strain during the Covid-19 pandemic.

Why?  Simple.

Unless a patient is potentially dying due to a suspected Covid-19 infection, they are mostly avoiding the doctor’s offices and the emergency departments, choosing to “wait it out” until after it’s safer.

This “waiting period” could extend into next year for those unwilling to visit the doctor until vaccinated.

The result is Emergency Departments are seeing a 30% decrease in inpatient visits overall.  The exceptions are the Covid-19 hot spots. The emergency departments in hot spots are seeing an increase in patient volume. However, the increase in patient volume is an increase in patients visits, but not necessarily an increase in revenue. This potential decrease in revenue is due to the lower reimbursement rates of treating patients with Covid-19.

Anesthesiologists earn their living from administering anesthesia or over-seeing CRNA’s during both elective surgeries and surgeries that are required on a more immediate basis.

What happens when elective surgeries are delayed? Many Anesthesiologists are not busy, and neither are CRNA’s. If these physicians are seeing patients in a Covid-19 hot spot, the healthcare providers could be very busy intubating patients and venting patients.

What about physicians in private practice or working in hospital-employed practices?

Many of these physicians have closed their practices completely and are relying on telemedicine, or they are seeing a fraction of the total amount of patients due to their safety measures in combination with fear from their patients to visit a doctor’s office.

Telemedicine alone does not work effectively.  Who is going to do the tests and the labs if a patient is being treated with a phone call or a video conference?

Physicians in these instances are becoming medication dispensaries.  Is it safe for the physician or the patient being treated via telemedicine if the primary goal is to report symptoms and get a prescription filled?  Sometimes, but not always.

Think about the malpractice risk associated with an inaccurate diagnosis relayed through a telemedicine visit. Covid-19 is affecting the economy overall in ways never seen before, but the real surprise is how Covid-19 has affected physician’s revenue, and job stability.

We continue to work with physicians and advanced practice providers to place them in locum tenens assignments as well as permanent placement opportunities.  In addition to our usual recruiting efforts, we have opened a new business model. This model is the answer to generating revenue without taking risks, and without relying on telemedicine.

Contact us today to discuss how you can earn more patient revenue while also providing better care to your patients.

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