The Outpatient Visit Volume Rebound Begins ... Will it be Enough to Save Small Private Practices?

Posted by Dike Drummond MD

As we begin to reopen society, data released this week shows physician visit volumes have rebounded slightly from the bottom out in the month of April.

The burning question is will the recovery happen quickly enough to avoid an extinction event in smaller private practices?

Fee for service private practice has been hammered by declines of visit volumes of 50 - 70%. No business can withstand an assault on its top line income of this magnitude for any significant period of time.

New research shows outpatient visits appear to have bottomed out in early April and are on the rebound. The curve is upward with volumes still 30-40% below baseline volumes from January and February of this year.

Given the US healthcare system's addiction to fee for service payments, the recovery in visit volumes and income must come quickly.

If the curve does not quickly assume a V or U shape, smaller physician owned groups who cannot survived a prolonged income drop will go out of business en masse before the end of the year. Unfortunately that does not look like a U or V to me. 

Here is the latest data on US Visit volumes from a unique source that tells the whole story.

Tags: covid19, 2020 pandemic

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RESILIENCE Won't Save you now - you need a New You for the New Normal on the far side of this COVID19 Pandemic

Posted by Dike Drummond MD

I have talked to hundreds of physicians in the last six weeks and two things are consistent.

1) Everyone knows the Old Normal is gone. There is no going back.

Once we get through the infectious disease crisis, round two of COVID-19 is the economic impact on your organization. Can you be certain at all what your practice will look like this time next year?

2) AND YET ... Most doctors don't want the Old Normal back again in the first place. 

No one is longing for a return of the good old days of EMR overwhelm, the fee-for-service hamster wheel, Pajama Time documentation at home and burnout rates of 50% and more. Who wants that back again? Isn't there a better way?

Isn't there a way to practice your craft as a helper, healer, caregiver and Lightworker without so much waste and brain damage??

The answer is YES - we know it to be true. And yet, the New Normal is completely unclear at this time. There is a chasm to cross.

Tags: physician coaching, physician resilience, covid19, coronavirus, 2020 pandemic

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