Leadership | 09.28.20
Diagnosis for Small Family Doctors: Less Money, Greater Hardship and Patients on Video
Washington Post (09/08/20) Rowland, Christopher
Small physician practices are struggling with the impact of the pandemic. Doctors are shifting large portions of their patients to virtual telehealth visits while making do with less revenue. Medical associations say some doctors are retiring early or joining larger groups as they seek strength in numbers. With the fee-for-service payment system magnifying economic pain for doctors as patients shun medical care, the crisis may also be accelerating changes in the way doctors are paid. Additionally, doctors are juggling more work because of layoffs or staffers who quit, coping with chronic shortages of personal protective equipment, and struggling to keep track of chronically ill people who are afraid to leave their homes. Advocates for overhauling payment practices in health care hope the crisis will steer contracts away from fee-for-service agreements. Instead, they argue, insurers should pay providers an upfront fee to manage a patient's health for the duration of the COVID-19 crisis.
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