The American Academy of Ophthalmology (AAO) is conducting a series of COVID-19 pulse surveys to reveal the pandemic’s effect on ophthalmology practices and their patients.
Here are some of the topline findings:
- Private practices are taking advantage of available resources, including through the CARES (Coronavirus Aid, Relief and Economic Security) Act, with 89% applying for payroll protection.
- A concerning result from the survey is that a majority of members project that without substantive federal grants and loans that their practices will be smaller, financially unhealthy or both by the end of the year.
- 47% will be smaller and financially unhealthy
- 26% will return to pre-COVID size and volume, but financially unhealthy
- 14% will be smaller, but financially healthy
- 6% will no longer practice ophthalmology
- 2% of practices will be sold
- Only 6% believe that they will be back to pre-COVID size, volume and financial health.
In a statement, the Academy said it is fighting for additional financial relief from the government and drug companies and developing resources to support practices through this pandemic.
AAO surveyed a randomized sample of 2,500 members in private practice from April 9-13, 2020. The response rate was 16%, and results have a confidence interval of 95% +/-4% margin of error.