MAG/AMA release Georgia physicians’ COVID-19 survey results

The Medical Association of Georgia (MAG) and the American Medical Association (AMA) have released a summary of the results of a Georgia physicians’ survey that addressed the COVID-19 pandemic from an array of important perspectives, including general attitudes and concerns, telehealth, economics, federal assistance, and efforts to “re-open” the state.  

The survey found that…

 The number of in-person visits had fallen dramatically.

– Physicians were “very concerned” about the financial viability of their practices.

– More than 80 percent of physicians had sought financial assistance from the federal government, more than 90 percent of those had received it, and 52 percent were satisfied with the application process.

– Telehealth visits did not replace the volume of in-person visits that were lost during lockdowns, and most physicians were continuing to see at least some patients via telehealth.

– The biggest telehealth barriers included their patients’ lack of experience with technology (57 percent), patient connectivity (50 percent), and concerns about understanding regulations (41 percent). 

– More than 60 percent said that they were concerned about the accessibility of credible information about COVID-19.

– 57 percent said that they were concerned about the continuity of care for patients with non-emergent conditions.

– Just 23 percent said that were “extremely” or “very” confident that they would be able to procure the PPE they need. 

– 36 percent saw physician stress/burnout as a barrier for “re-opening” the state.

“The key takeaway is that physicians in Georgia have had to contend with a number of significant personal and professional challenges beyond the essential and life-saving care that they and allied health care professionals and staff have provided throughout the COVID-19 pandemic,” says MAG President Andrew Reisman, M.D. “State and federal lawmakers and regulators need to recognize this and take action that will help ensure that medical practices can survive this storm in the short- and long-terms.”

Eighty physicians completed the survey. Most were in small, office-based settings. The survey was conducted between May 26 and June 9. The survey was conducted by Kupersmit Research.