Medical practices across the United States have been hit hard by the COVID-19 outbreak.
The new study by researchers from Harvard Medical School and the American Board of Family Medicine attempts to put a price tag on that hit by running a microsimulation for projected 2020 revenues based on volume data for general practices, general internal medicine practices, general pediatric practices and family medicine practices.
As a result, they concluded that the average revenue loss per practice per physician will be $67,774, even taking into account revenue generated by telemedicine visits, which did not make up for the massive loss of patient volume during the spring.
Insufficient investment in primary care is one reason that the US health care system continues to underperform relative to the health systems in other high-income countries. States and countries with greater access to primary care clinicians and more robust primary care services have better outcomes and lower costs. For this reason, Rhode Island and Oregon have mandated measurement and targeting of primary care expenditures, and other states are considering related legislation.
The lifeblood, legitimacy and future of a scientific discipline depends on continual growth of its unique features and body of knowledge through research.2,3 Family physicians (a synonym we use in this paper for ‘general practitioners’) and other primary care providers depend on a vibrant research enterprise to find answers to the questions relevant to the unique set of health services provided to most patients, most of the time, in all stages of wellness and illness.