Will COVID-19 End Independent Radiology Practices?

Is your independent radiology practice struggling financially?

Well, it’s not the only one, according to the Physicians Foundation 2020 Physician Survey.

The Story

Only 8 percent of physicians had closed their practice as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic, the survey found. However, more closures may be on the horizon. A whopping 59 percent of physicians think there will be fewer independent practices in the future.

That’s not all that the survey found. Among 3,513 physicians surveyed:

  • 43 percent had reduced their staff
  • 72 percent lost income; of these, 55 percent lost at least 26 percent
  • 41 percent of physicians saw volume decreases of 26 percent or more, an unsustainable level
  • Among physicians who closed their practices, 78 percent were specialists, compared to 22 percent in primary care

 A survey earlier this year, by the American College of Radiology (ACR) and Radiology Business Management Association (RBMA), found similar financial struggles in radiology practices. Among 228 ACR and RBMA members, overall imaging volume declined 56.4 to 63.7 percent in April 2020.

 Independent practices may be facing financial difficulties for many reasons:

  •  A freeze on non-emergent medical procedures
  • Patients who no longer have health insurance because of job loss may avoid seeking care
  • Fears of the virus may make patients afraid to see the doctor, and make physicians unwilling to return to work

Rather than close entirely, many independent practices have chosen to sell and consolidate in the age of COVID-19. Even before the pandemic, consolidation was a growing issue for radiology, with more radiology groups being acquired by physician practice management companies.

What next? 

Radiology has seen enormous disruptions during the COVID-19 pandemic. If you’re struggling with reduced staff or a new workflow, Novarad has cost-saving solutions to help keep your practice efficient.

Check out our product list or contact us to learn more.