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As the pandemic wreaks financial ruin on practices across the country, physician leaders need to begin to plan for their financial futures after the pandemic has passed.
The COVID-19 coronavirus pandemic has thoroughly derailed what was shaping up to be a good year for physician practices, but practice leaders should plan rather than prepare for what the financial implication will be in the post-COVID-19 world.
This was the topic of a seminar given by Fulcrum Strategies’ Chief Financial Officer and Strategic Planning Consultant Cynthia Nyberg as part of the Medical Group Management Association (MGMA) Medical Practice Excellence Conference 2020.
She said that prior to the coronavirus spreading across the U.S., unemployment was at 3.5 percent, wage growth was between 3.9 percent and 4 percent, the labor participation rate was 63.4 percent, and revenue and patient visits were up 16 percent.
Along with the pandemic came a raft of challenges for practices including limiting patient visits to essential services only, the implementation of telehealth seemingly overnight, furloughs of staff, attempts to secure paycheck protection program loans, and keeping patients and staff safe from infection through the purchase of personal protective equipment, Nyberg says.
While some in government say that the pandemic has passed, Nyberg says she doesn’t think the country is there yet especially with case numbers increasing in many states.
She says some of the challenges that will be facing practices post-COVID and beyond are:
Some financial strategies for the post-COVID world presented by Nyberg include: