Initial Impact of Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19) on Radiology Practices: An ACR/RBMA Survey.
J Am Coll Radiol
PURPOSE:The coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic affected radiology practices in many ways. The aim of this survey was to estimate declines in imaging volumes and financial impact across different practice settings during April 2020. METHODS:The survey, comprising 48 questions, was conducted among members of the ACR and the Radiology Business Management Association during May 2020. Survey questions focused on practice demographics, volumes, financials, personnel and Northwell Health adjustments, and anticipation of recovery. RESULTS:During April 2020, nearly all radiology practices reported substantial (56.4%-63.7%) declines in imaging volumes, with outpatient imaging volumes most severely affected. Mean gross charges declined by 50.1% to 54.8% and collections declined by 46.4% to 53.9%. Percentage reductions did not correlate with practice size. The majority of respondents believed that volumes would recover but not entirely (62%-88%) and anticipated a short-term recovery, with a surge likely in the short term due to postponement of elective imaging (52%-64%). About 16% of respondents reported that radiologists in their practices tested positive for COVID-19. More than half (52.3%) reported that availability of personal protective equipment had become an issue or was inadequate. A majority (62.3%) reported that their practices had existing remote reading or teleradiology capabilities in place before the pandemic, and 22.3% developed such capabilities in response to the pandemic. CONCLUSIONS:Radiology practices across different settings experienced substantial declines in imaging volumes and collections during the initial wave of the COVID-19 pandemic in April 2020. Most are actively engaged in both short- and long-term operational adjustments.
School of Medicine