Declines in patient visits during COVID-19 shutdowns projected to cost U.S. primary care $15 billion in revenue by year’s end, study shows

• On average, a full-time primary care physician in the U.S. will lose more than $65,000 in revenue in 2020.
• Overall, the U.S. primary care sector will lose nearly $15 billion.
• Losses stem from drastic reductions in office visits and fees for services during COVID-19 shutdowns from March to May.
• Losses threaten practice viability, reducing further an already insufficient number of primary care providers in the United States.
• Findings underscore the need for a plan that provides support for independent primary care doctors, small independent practices.

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ACR Releases Position Statement on Prior Authorization

The American College of Rheumatology (ACR) has released an official position statement concerning prior authorization for the approval of prescription medications, highlighting the significant burdens it creates for patients and rheumatology professionals. This process can result in a significant delay of care or treatments, treatment abandonment and potential harm to patients.

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Adding mental health specialists to primary care clinics boosts vets’ access to outpatient services

A Veterans Health Administration program that added mental health specialists, care managers or both in primary care clinics significantly improved access to mental health and primary care services to veterans with behavioral health needs. The practice also resulted in 9% higher average annual costs for each patient.

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