The Death Of Primary Care

We have talked before about the financial difficulties that PCP’s are having as the result of the COVID-19 pandemic. As reported in our previous posts, it is a simple fact that patients are staying away from PCP’s offices as a special form of social distancing, i.e., not wanting to go to places where they might encounter sick people and get infected. And due to the impact of PPE shortage and other factors, many doctors’ offices have been closed to personal office visits.  

But check this out. What you will see are survey results indicating that many PCP’s are not ready for a second surge (Are we done the first one???) of COVID Infections. And the lack of preparedness has many faces. A recognizable one is lack of Personal Protective Equipment (PPE). It isn’t just ICU’s that need masks and gowns, and they remain in short supply. Psychological preparedness is also weakening. Doctors are just getting tired of trying to plan for a future where so many things are unknown. And finally, there is the lack of financial preparedness. Fewer than 50% of practices report that they have enough “cash on hand” to remain open.  

Bottom Line. While the daily death toll from the pandemic is horrible enough, here is the big question for the day. What happens if a significant percentage of Primary Care Practices close, as this article predicts “in weeks not months” due to the lack of financial support? And by year end?  

There is little doubt that the face of U.S. healthcare will be changed substantially by the pandemic. Those of us in the pharmaceutical vertical had better start thinking about what that “new normal” will look like, and how we too will have to adapt!  

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