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.

READ MORE NOW

Tags: covid19, 2020 pandemic, private practice, healthcare economy


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