A recent survey by Sage Growth Partners and Black Book Research asked 4,380 U.S. physicians about how COVID-19 has changed care and will change care into the future.
The survey was available from May 28, 2020 until June 3, 2020. It found that financial troubles were widespread, but that physicians, as a whole, do not expect the COVID-19-related financial troubles to have a long-lasting impact. This financial certainty was in stark contrast to significant uncertainty in a survey completed the month prior. These changes in viewpoint reflect the moving rapidly changing healthcare landscape in the wake of COVID-19.
Focusing on reimbursement, physicians overwhelming want more fee-for-service reimbursement. In the fee-for-service model, services are unbundled and paid for separately. This gives physicians incentive to provide more treatment because payment is dependent on the quantity of care rather than the quality of care.
Although this is not explored in the survey, one may wonder if this is related to concerns about patient satisfaction in the setting of tremendous practice changes and unclear guidelines on what constitutes high quality virtual care.
Lastly, physicians stated that they want to see more upside-only risk contracts post-COVID-19. This was especially true in behavioral health with 83% of behavioral health respondents responding in this manner. Perhaps this reflects that physicians are tired of uncertainty.