Survey of Medical Providers’ Needs and Concerns About Covid-19

April 28, 2020

What are providers' greatest concerns about the pandemic? Have they expanded their use of telehealth? We asked these questions and more of ambulatory care practices in the Great Lakes Region. Below is a summary of responses from 205 clinics in Michigan, Illinois, Indiana, and Wisconsin.

Maintaining adequate revenue is a top concern

  • Ambulatory clinics show an extremely high level of overall concern, with 36% rating their concern as 10 out of 10, and 77% rating their concern as 8, 9, or 10 out of 10.
  • The top concern is maintaining adequate revenue to maintain operations (62% rate “extremely concerned” and 0% “rate not at all concerned”). The next concerns were infecting a family member (44% extremely concerned) and clinicians becoming infected (40% extremely concerned). Primary care clinicians are more worried about revenue (63% extremely concerned) than specialty clinicians (58% extremely concerned).
  • Altarum economists note that the loss of 43,000 health care jobs in March marks the biggest drop in the sector in at least three decades.

Most clinicians plan to expand telehealth but are concerned about reimbursement and implementation

  • 28% of clinicians offered telehealth services prior to Covid-19. Of these that already offered telehealth, 95% plan to expand their use of telehealth, and of those that didn’t, 84% plan to start using telehealth.
  • The top concern with telehealth is reimbursement, but understanding regulations and patient participation are also concerns. Most challenges are rated at least moderately (procuring and implementing hardware, staff training, marketing/communications, patient participation, understanding the regulations, billing, and reimbursement).

Few are confident with their supply of PPE; less than half feel adequately prepared to respond to the crisis

  • Only 42% rate their clinic’s level of preparation for Covid-19 as 8, 9, or 10 out of 10.
  • Confidence in PPE supply is low, with only 13% rating their confidence as an 8, 9, or 10 out of 10.
  • 32% do not have a policy for staff or clinicians returning to work following a Covid-19 infection.
  • 19% do not have local contact information for Covid-19 testing facilities. 42% do not have resources for patients about social isolation.

The CDC is the most trusted source of information

  • The CDC is the most trusted source (50% extremely likely to trust and use), followed by the WHO (29%). Professional societies (28%), physician organizations (25%), and journal articles (18%) are less likely to be extremely trusted, but receive moderate levels of trust.
  • About 56% rate their satisfaction with information about Covid-19 as an 8, 9, or 10 out of 10.

View overall results and primary/specialty care results.

Altarum is a nonprofit organization that works with federal and state agencies and foundations to design and implement solutions to improve the health of individuals with fewer financial resources and populations disenfranchised by the health care system. We achieve measurable results by combining our expertise in public health and health care delivery with technology, workforce training and continuing education, applied research, and technical assistance. Our innovative solutions lead to better health for beneficiaries and better value for payers.