AAO Survey Reveals Pandemic’s Effect on Private Ophthalmic Practices

Source: American Academy of Ophthalmology

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.


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