INDIANAPOLIS — Doctors offices and medical practices in Indiana are suffering because people are delaying medical care because of the coronavirus pandemic, says a new report from the Indiana State Medical Assoc.
Most of the doctors’ offices and practices surveyed reported at least a 40 percent drop in the number of patients and the revenue that goes with those visits. Some offices had an 80 to 90 percent drop.
The association is concerned about the Indiana medical community’s ability to support the state’s public health.
There is also concern that people who have non-coronavirus related problems are not getting treated because of fear of going to the doctor’s office.
From the onset of COVID-19, we expected the surge would impact all physicians in Indiana, whether doctors were working on the front lines or not,” said ISMA Executive Vice President Julie Reed, JD.
“What we couldn’t predict was the impact on all patients, including those suffering from chronic, non-COVID related illnesses, who would stop seeking treatment because they were afraid of getting infected.”
Steve Freeland, a member of the IMGMA board of directors, agreed.
“As CEO of one of the premier oncology groups in the Midwest, I can tell you that patients haven’t stopped needing cancer treatments during COVID-19,” said Freeland. “People don’t stop having heart attacks or requiring important screenings, either. It’s imperative that our specialty and primary care physician practices remain afloat, so Hoosiers have access to quality care both during the public health emergency and after it subsides.”
More than half of the medical practices reported using Paycheck Protection Program money to sustain payroll and other expenses.