Primary Care Clinicians Raise Concerns About Re-Opening Country in New Survey

Today's results are part of ongoing poll of practices and their response to COVID-19

The Primary Care Collaborative (PCC), in partnership with The Larry A. Green Center, today released results of a real-time survey of primary care clinicians conducted April 24-27, measuring the impact of COVID-19 on their practices. 
In this seventh consecutive week of the survey, half of the primary care clinicians who responded believe that it is unsafe to open the country right now. Another 37% responded that the viability of re-opening the country depends on various factors, including the availability of COVID-19 testing and personal protective equipment and conditions in specific regions. Only 9% responded “yes” when asked about opening the country. 

Eighty percent of survey respondents say they continue to limit well and chronic care visits at their practices for COVID-19-related reasons, suggesting pent-up demand for such services and pending population health challenges. 

“As some governors start to ease restrictions in their states, we see from our survey that many primary care clinicians are concerned about resuming normal life,” said Rebecca Etz, PhD, Co-Director of The Larry A. Green Center and Associate Professor of Family Medicine and Population Health at Virginia Commonwealth University. “They are largely not providing care face-to-face so it is really not a surprise that primary care clinicians largely do not think we are ready to open the country back up.”    

“Despite rounds of federal stimulus packages and pay parity for telehealth visits, primary care is not adequately benefiting from federal policies and is in grave financial danger,” said Ann Greiner, President and CEO of the Primary Care Collaborative. “A targeted, immediate infusion of financial support for primary care is essential to retaining a primary care foundation. Without primary care, and its ability to coordinate with public health, the nation cannot safely return to work and school.” 

This week’s survey results reflect input from 3,131 primary care physicians, nurse practitioners, and PAs. All 50 states and Washington, D.C., are represented in the data, with the highest number of responses coming from Texas (12% of the national sample), Oregon (6%), Virginia (6%), California (5%), and Washington state (5%). Respondents’ specialty types include family medicine (65%), pediatrics (12%), internal medicine (11%), geriatrics (6%), and other (7%). Practices vary in terms of setting characteristics (26% rural, 16% community health center, 14% convenience care setting, 22% direct primary care or membership) and ownership (24% self-owned, 28% independent or part of a larger group, 39% owned by hospital/health system, 7% government-owned). 

Visit PCC’s website for:  

  • Executive summary of the survey 
  • Full details of the survey 
  • Infographic

Experts are available to provide insight and comment on the survey:   

  • Ann Greiner, MCP, President & Chief Executive Officer, Primary Care Collaborative
  • Rebecca S. Etz, PhD, Co-Director of The Larry A. Green Center and Associate Professor of Family Medicine and Population Health at Virginia Commonwealth University 

If you would like to speak with either of these experts, please contact: 
Stephen Padre 
Communications Manager, Primary Care Collaborative 
[email protected] 

This survey is conducted weekly, and results are reported on the Larry A. Green Center and PCC websites

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