April 03, 2020
Area(s) of Interest: Public Health Physician Workforce
The COVID-19 pandemic is having a financial impact on nearly everyone, but its effect on physicians and physician practices has been particularly acute and needs immediate attention.
On April 2, 2020, the California Medical Association (CMA) submitted a letter to Governor Gavin Newsom urging him to take quick action to ensure that our financially distressed physician practices remain viable so they can continue to provide care to patients.
In its letter, CMA recommended several actions, including providing more financial assistance and grants for physicians and removing administrative burdens that slow down critical care.
CMA recommended that the Governor require or incentivize payors to provide supplemental financial assistance or stabilization grants for their network physicians that are financially distressed. CMA estimates that statewide up to 34% of Californians (13,375,651 people) could lose access to their physician absent assistance to maintain the financial viability of physician practices. California is already facing a physician shortage. As our population ages and the demand for health care providers continues to grow, it is crucial that we do everything we can to maintain our existing physician workforce to ensure that Californians across the state can get access to the critical care that they need.
CMA also recommended that the Governor require payors to waive various administrative burdens to create a more effective and efficient patient care process throughout the pandemic. Such actions could include suspension or extension of prior authorization requirements and deadlines, incorporation of an electronic appeals processes, suspension of medical records requests, expedited credentialing and suspension of overpayment requests.
View CMA's complete letter here.