Practices in Peril Still Need Help | As we enter month six of the pandemic and Los Angeles COVID-19 cases have fluctuated from a peak of 12,000+ in July to 2,100 as of October 9, physicians are still suffering. You may recall, LACMA launched the COVID-19 Rapid Response Initiative in March and over 500 practices were helped with funds and PPE. Early in the pandemic, CMA conducted the first COVID-19 Physician Financial Health Survey and found widespread concern about the financial health of physician practices. At that time, 95% of practices reported they worried about their financial health due to the COVID-19 public health emergency, with an average revenue decrease of 64%.
CMA just concluded its follow-up survey to reevaluate practice viability.
The follow-up survey found that 87% of physician practices are still worried about their financial health. Even with more than 8 out of 10 practices now utilizing telehealth, the average volume of patient visits and practice revenue is still down by one third, with 25% of practices still experiencing a revenue decline of 50% or greater. Surgical specialties are particularly impacted because of their inability to practice via telehealth, with average revenue declines of 41%, compared to 34% for all specialties.
While revenue is down, practice costs have gone up 14%, with practices having to purchase personal protective equipment (PPE), comply with public health disinfecting guidelines, implement telehealth and make other changes due to the pandemic.
While many practices had to temporarily close their offices earlier in the year due to public health guidelines and a lack of accessible PPE, many practices have still not reopened. In several rural regions of California, 60% or more of primary care practices are still closed, putting these practices at risk of permanent closure. Further, 56% of practices statewide report their staffing levels have not returned to normal. In addition to providing vital medical care to patients, physician practices play an important role in local economies, helping to sustain jobs and economic viability during these uncertain times.
CMA's alarming survey findings highlight the impact of six months of sustained financial losses and contradict health plan and insurer claims that patient volume is back to normal. CMA’s data shows that the smaller the physician practice, the greater the revenue decline, which raises serious concerns about further market consolidation.
We need to continue dialogue with state policy makers, so they fully understand the enormity of these impacts on practices. Let me know what you think. How has COVID-19 affected your practice?
LACMA will unveil a PPE Program in November and later this month we will share physician voices on our new podcast “Clear as Mud”.
Race Against Time Zoom Kicks Off TODAY! | Tomorrow night is our first “Race Against Time” zoom call featuring Dr. Brian Williams, Associate Professor of Surgery, University of Chicago School of Medicine, co-hosted by Dr. C. Freeman. I hope you can join us for this insightful and worthwhile interactive discussion.
Register for the inaugural conversation below.
Digital Mentoring Program
Excited to share that LACMA is partnering with Santa Monica College and AltaMed Health Services to kick off a digital mentoring initiative for aspiring medical professionals. Dr. Sion Roy, who leads the Docs4LA initiative, also leads this Digital Mentoring Program partnership. If you would like to be a mentor let me know!
Physician Leader Update | Kudos to Dr. Hector Flores and Dr. Tony Chavis-Greene who participated in last week’s symposium on the Impact of COVID-19 on Solo and Small Practices in Underserved Areas/Communities of Color. The Symposium was sponsored by the Miller-Lawrence Medical and Dental Society, an African American health professions group affiliated with the National Medical Association.
2020 CMA Voting Guide
The November General Election is just around the corner. We hope that you will show up to the polls (or mail in your vote-by-mail ballot) and ensure the voices of physicians are heard loud and clear. Many counties recently changed their elections process under the “Voter’s Choice Act” and in response to the COVID-19 pandemic.
Today is the last day to register to vote in California. View your official CMA Voter Guide below to walk you through the process.
Your Chance to Win PPE!
As a token of our appreciation, we are raffling off 2 boxes of PPE every 2 weeks until December 31, 2020. There will be 2 winners (every 2 weeks) and each box contains a 2 month supply of PPE valued at nearly $4,500.
Individual self-paying members are eligible for this raffle.
How to enter:
To be eligible for this raffle, simply renew your membership online or send in your renewal check in the mail and you will automatically be entered for the raffle drawing during that 2-week time frame. Please note that your name will be entered for only one raffle.
You will receive an email from Lisa Le informing you that you’ve won.
Email Lisa Le at firstname.lastname@example.org
Enter the current raffle now by clicking the renewal link below.
Free Training to Fulfill California’s Sexual Harassment Avoidance Requirements
Did you know that California employers with five or more employees are required to provide sexual harassment avoidance training for all employees by January 1, 2021?
Through the end of 2020, the Cooperative of American Physicians, Inc. (CAP) is pleased to offer you and your staff complimentary access to both a two-hour supervisory course and one-hour non-supervisory course to help your practice meet the fast-approaching deadline.
Until now, CAP has offered this free, on-demand course, which can cost hundreds of dollars elsewhere, exclusively to its physician members. As part of our commitment to helping all physicians succeed in their practices, CAP is waiving the membership requirement and recommends that your practice train your employees now and not wait until the end of 2020.
Once you sign up to take the course, you will receive specific instructions for you and your staff to enroll. Upon completion of the program, you will be able to save the certificate of completion as a PDF that can be printed or saved to prove compliance. These courses are being offered to a select group of prospective CAP members, so we request that you do not share the link with any individuals outside of your practice.
CAP, a leading provider of medical malpractice coverage for California physicians, offers a wide array of risk and practice management benefits, such as these free programs, to its members.
To learn more about becoming a CAP member, please call 800-356-5672 or email MD@CAPphysicians.com. Request an Instant Quote today to learn how much you can save on medical malpractice coverage with CAP.
House of Delegates | 149th Annual Session of the California Medical Association House of Delegates will convene virtually this Saturday, October 24, 2020. Members of the House will be discussing the following major issues: Pandemic Response and Preparedness and the Future of Medical Practice Post COVID.
To learn more about HOD, please click here.
“Prosperity begins with a state of mind.”
Chief Executive Officer
Los Angeles County Medical Association
“If it matters to our LACMA members, it matters to me.”