Poll: A Third of CA Primary Care Doctors Fear Their Practices Won’t Survive

KQED reports one in three primary care doctors in California are worried they will have to close their practices or clinics due to the financial devastation caused by the COVID-19 pandemic, according to a new statewide survey.

The poll, from the California Health Care Foundation (CHCF) and Truth on Call, was conducted among 350 primary care physicians throughout the state between May 8 and May 13. More than 37% of survey respondents said they were “very” or “somewhat” worried their practice or clinic “will be forced to permanently close.”

That concern was heightened significantly among doctors at smaller practices, more than half of whom said they were “very” or “somewhat” worried about shutting down (versus 25% of doctors at larger practices).

A third of all doctors surveyed also said they have considered temporarily closing their practices, with many already reducing staffing or pay.

“These numbers show that clinics of all sizes — and smaller practices in particular — face unprecedented challenges,” Kristof Stremikis, director of market analysis and insight at CHCF, said in a press release. “Significant numbers of California’s primary care doctors are concerned that their practices will not survive the pandemic.”

Additionally, the survey found that nearly a third of doctors at practices with five or fewer physicians still lacked enough coronavirus tests for all their patients and workers, and many said they have not been able to receive test results fast enough.