Small medical practices struggle to survive amid coronavirus pandemic

Many small doctors’ practices...are struggling to survive as many patients shelter at home and put off consultations for all but the most urgent issues. Although they’re still ministering to patients amid a health crisis, they’ve been unable to get loans under the Paycheck Protection Act, passed as part of the coronavirus relief package in late March.

A survey done by a Richmond-based advocacy group for primary care doctors, called the Larry A. Green Center, found that half the doctors who sought such loans were unsuccessful. Of 2,774 doctors who responded to the survey, 19 percent said they had to temporarily close their practices because of financial problems; 42 percent had to lay off or furlough staff. About 10 percent say they will have to close in the next month because of financial shortfalls.

“Primary care has been underresourced and undersupported for decades in the United States,” said Rebecca Etz, the center’s co-director.

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