MEDICAL SOCIETY OF THE STATE OF NEW YORK
865 Merrick Avenue, Westbury, New York 11590-9007
Telephone: (516) 488-6100
For Immediate Release
MSSNY President Submits Testimony on the Impact of the COVID19 Crisis on NY Physician Practices
May 13, 2020, Westbury, NY— Dr. Bonnie Litvack, MD, a Westchester radiologist and President of the Medical Society of the State of New York (MSSNY), today submitted testimony to the Joint Legislative Committee Hearing on Small Businesses, describing the impact of the COVID19 crisis on physician practices delivering patient care across the state of New York.
“Like many small businesses across the state, New York physicians have faced devastating consequences for their practices as a result of the coronavirus outbreak,” said Dr. Litvack. “Our first priority is, of course, to ensure that our patients, through the crisis and after, can continue to receive the care they need. However, physicians need to be assured that our practices can keep our doors open for patients now and in the future.”
To learn details about the impact, MSSNY conducted two surveys of its membership over the last month. Key takeaways from MSSNY’s most recent survey include:
· 79% have seen a reduction of more than 50% in the volume of patients visiting their practices.
· Nearly 3/4 had a greater than 50% drop in practice revenue.
· More than a quarter had to lay off or furlough more than 50% of their staff, and 40% had to lay off or furlough at least 25% of their staff.
However, the bad news from the second survey was mixed with some modestly positive news that more physicians have received a small business Paycheck Protection Program loan. The CARES Act has provided some funding to help make up for some of the enormous deficits suffered by physician practices. However, it is not nearly enough to ensure the survival of many physician practices across the state.
Dr. Litvack’s testimony provided recommendations for how Congress and the New York State legislature can support physicians going forward including “advance” payments by commercial insurers to physicians and requiring health insurers to make bonus payments to their network physicians to account for the costs associated with additional Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) and the mark-up in price, that will be essential as practices begin to open up. MSSNY also continues to work with the New York Congressional delegation to press for needed additional funding in future stimulus packages to help further offset the devastation to these practices. Physicians also need assurance that existing funding streams in previous stimulus packages will continue to be made available to community physicians so they may continue to provide patient care.
MSSNY will continue to urge the necessity of additional funding to New York State to prevent potentially devastating cuts.
“New York’s health care system, including physicians, shouldn’t have to face financial ruin, while working around the clock to save lives,” said Dr. Litvack. “New York has shouldered the brunt of this crisis and we desperately need fiscal attention.”
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About the Medical Society of the State of New York
Founded in 1807, the Medical Society of the State of New York is the state’s principal non-profit professional organization for physicians, residents and medical students of all specialties. Its mission is to represent the interests of patients and physicians to assure quality healthcare services for all.
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Medical Society of the State of New York
865 Merrick Ave.
Westbury, New York
516-488-6100 ext 302