BUSINESS Texas physicians lost at least 50% in business due to coronavirus
Health Care Edition 2020
BY TAYLOR GIRTMAN
Park, in-oce patient visits dropped by more than half over eight weeks due to the coronavirus pandemic. Monica McKitterick, a family nurse practitioner and owner of the practice, said most lost visits were for annual exams, patient accountability check- ins and visits for chronic conditions. Unlike other primary care prac- tices, McKitterick’s practice already oered regular telehealth patient visits and communication. Texts, calls or secure videos let her patients quickly get medical care, prescription rells or communication. About 75% of her patient visits do not require meeting in-person, and 60%-70% of her patients are cared for via text, McKitterick said. Her practice was one of the few that was less aected by the pandemic. “Because of the COVID[-19] situa- tion, I was not seeing patients in the oce with respiratory-like symptoms
Across the state and across medical elds, Texas physicians have taken a nancial hit with fewer patient visits during the coronavirus pan- demic. Sixty-three percent of Texas physicians lost at least 50% of their practices’ revenue due to corona- virus, according to a Texas Medical Association survey released May 20. According to the survey, 62% of physicians reported reduced salaries, and 68% reported reduced work hours. Travis County physicians saw a greater loss with 75% of surveyed physicians having reduced salaries. Few physician jobs were lost, according to the 1,548 survey respon- dents. Four percent of physicians were furloughed, and 2% were laid o. Eleven percent of respondents reported no coronavirus-related impact on their practice. At Impact Family Wellness in Cedar
Family nurse practitioner Monica McKitterick said her practice, Impact Family Wellness, has seen fewer in-person visits due to COVID19. (Courtesy Impact Family Wellness)
SOURCE: TEXAS MEDICAL ASSOCIATIONCOMMUNITY IMPACT NEWSPAPER 26% lost 76%-100% of revenue 37% lost 51%-75% of revenue 23% lost 26%-50% of revenue 7% lost 0%-25% of revenue 5% don't know 2% saw unchanged revenue How has coronavirus nancially aected practices across Texas?
simply because I did not have the appropriate [personal protective equipment] for that,” she said. “If I get sick, nobody is coming in.” She said she thinks a lot of primary care oces struggled because they didn’t have the platform to do telehealth. McKitterick said telemedicine is vital today. Her direct primary care model has more exibility with these visits than insurance-based practices. “You’ve got to nd a platform for telehealth because people are going to expect it now,” she said.
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CEDAR PARK LEANDER EDITION • JUNE 2020
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