Physician practices on the brink: A warning for Congress
By Tom Banning
There is no question that the COVID-19 pandemic has created unprecedented financial pain throughout our health care system. Primary care physicians have seen a drop in patient visits of more than 50%, specialty physicians have seen patient volume evaporate, and hospitals are burning through cash as patients avoid going to the emergency room and non-urgent surgeries and other elective procedures that make up the bulk of hospital revenue have been canceled.
In a Stateline article this week, The Pew Charitable Trusts warns of the “possibility that the non-hospital health system will be decimated, and many of the surviving providers will be ill-prepared to deal with the pent-up demand that emerges from this crisis.” They predict a near future rife with acquisitions and mergers for independent physicians unable to survive months with no revenue.more
Despite rocky start, SBA loans expected to provide financial assistance to practices
By Brian Justice
UPDATE: As of April 16, 2020, the Small Business Administration reports the funds for the PPP loans and EIDL advances have run out. Congress is considering appropriating another $2.5 billion so for now, the program is suspended. We will let you know as soon as we know more. https://www.sba.gov/disaster-assistance/coronavirus-covid-19
The devastating economic impact of the coronavirus pandemic is being felt by medical practices across the country, but help is supposed to be available through the Coronavirus Aid, Relief and Economic Security Act (CARES) for small businesses. The Small Business Administration will oversee the distribution of millions of dollars in grants and loans through the Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) and Economic Injury Disaster Loan (EIDL) Grants to help small businesses, like your practice.more
We need a “Marshall Plan” to save primary care, public health infrastructure
By Christopher Crow, MD, MBA, President of Catalyst Health network and Tom Banning, CEO of Texas Academy of Family Physicians
Following the devastation of World War II, the United States enacted the Marshall Plan to rebuild a heavily damaged Europe. Our war against this novel coronavirus is far from over, but it is already wreaking havoc on the nation’s primary care workforce. Our frontline health care providers are putting themselves at risk every day without proper personal protective equipment while community-based primary care clinics are facing economic disaster.
We need a Marshall Plan for our primary care and public health infrastructure.more
Webinar: 120-day financial plan for business continuity during COVID-19
By Tom Banning, TAFP CEO
Hello to all, from TAFP headquarters in Austin. I want to share with you a resource that I hope you find helpful.
TAFP hosted an interactive webinar on business continuity during COVID-19 on March 31, 2020. We leaned on accounting and practice management experts at Catalyst Health Network who have designed a customizable, multivariable dynamic financial model that allows physicians to run scenario analysis on their practice’s financial health.more
We're all in this together
By Kathy McCarthy, TAFP COO
When TAFP was formed, the membership was largely homogenous. Not just in demographics, but in practice setting. Over the years, that has changed and while many members still own small practices, they are no longer the majority. The day-to-day practice of a family physician member of TAFP is varied, with some in larger groups with no ownership stake, some working in ERs and urgent care, some at FQHCs and public health clinics, some working as hospitalists, some focusing on providing palliative care, and, of course, some educating the next generation of family physicians. With that variety amongst our members, we know that the effect of COVID-19 pandemic on our membership is also varied.
There are some common threads that likely resonate with you. As scientists you are working to understand the virus and reading all you can. As physicians you are concerned about your patients and working on strategies to continue caring for them, often with limited PPE. As mothers and fathers, daughters and sons, sisters and brothers, you worry about your family – especially those who are more vulnerable. As leaders in whatever setting you practice, you worry about your health care team. You watch with alarm the percentage of the coronavirus positive cases who are health care providers, here and in other countries. If you are a parent of school-age children, you are scrambling to figure out how to keep them engaged and learning at a time when schools are closed with many are not reopening this term. You feel the loss of not being able to gather at churches and other community events.more