Nearly half of US primary care practices are not able to test for COVID-19 and do not have adequate personal protective equipment. Here is what your colleagues are saying.
Nearly half (46%) of primary care practices do not have the capacity to test patients for COVID-19, according to results of a survey conducted by the Primary Care Collaborative in partnership with the Larry A Green Center. Primary care physicians say they are already losing clinicians (20%), nursing staff (17%), and front desk support (13%) as illness spreads.Practices also report being out of supplies to care for patients suspected of having COVID-19 and being overwhelmed by patient's virtual questions.Â The Primary Care Partnership & Larry A Green Center are conducting a weekly survey of primary car practices across the country to track impact of the COVID-19. Following are topline results and ver batim commentsÂ from the first week using information gathered March 13-16, 2020.
When asked "What is your capacity to test patients for COVID-19?" survey respondents said: 46% No capacity 34% Capcity limited to CDC restrictions 16.9% Can test beyond CDC guidelines 2.4% Can test anyone
Final Sample. An invitation to participate was distributed to 9,000 primary care clinicians across the country and remained open until March 16, 11:59pm PST (survey to be repeated weekly). Clinician respondents: 534 from Family Medicine (n=377, 70%), Pediatrics (n=76, 14%), and Internal Medicine(n=58, 11%). Other disciplines, 5%, largely geriatrics and urgent care. Responses covered 48 states. Practice settings for respondents included 86 rural practices, 389 with >3 clinicians, and 280 with >50% of patients commercially insured.
Topline PCP Survey Results. 46% report no capacity for COVID-19 testing 51% lack adequate personal protective equipment 17% lack enough available appointments 52% report COVID-19 having severe/near severe impact on their practice 58% have canceled well & chronic care visits to accommodate need.
“It is appalling to me that we don't have broader testing capabilities. I had a patient two days ago who absolutely should have been tested. But because she hadn't traveled internationally, or had a known contact with COVID, we couldn't. She was flu
negative. We know it's here in our area, and we aren't looking for it like we need to be. It's maddening.”
30% point to failed leadership, changing guidelines, failed coordination between agencies & institutions.
31% reflect loss of employees, risk of financial collapse (fall-off of paid face-to-face visits), and helplessness.
“Starting to have providers out so they can take care of kids out of school.”
“I may have already been exposed and have no way to know if I am an asymptomatic carrier to others.”
11% discuss health risks related to social inequities and a scarcity view creating risks in new areas.
“Right now, worried well and acutely increased mental health issues are our biggest patient related problems."
“We have decided to stop doing strep screens and influenza testing since they are aerosol generating procedures.”
For more COVID-19 coverage for primary care, visit our COVID-19 Resource Page.