The recent commentary by Aledade CEO Dr. Farzad Mostashari, “COVID-19 pushing primary care to brink of collapse,” stated, “By all accounts, we are merely in the opening salvo of the COVID-19 outbreak in the U.S., and already our primary-care defenses are falling apart.” I can bear witness to that.
I have been in private practice in Nebraska for 17 years. I have 10 employees who rely on me for their living. Some of them are the only working member of their household now. We have had two patients test positive for COVID-19 in our practice. We are seeing a drastic decline in the number of patients we see daily because of the government recommendations and the fear that people will get the virus if they go to the doctor. It is drastically affecting our bottom line.
I have dropped my salary as low as I can to still be able to pay my bills at home, but even that isn’t enough to secure my ability to cover payroll. I did receive a stimulus deposit from the federal government that will pay my rent and utilities for a month. I have applied for a CARES Act loan, but have heard nothing. If this doesn’t end very quickly, or we don’t receive some other source of help, we will be in deep trouble within a month. It is frightening, honestly frightening.
Dr. Lorrie L. McGill