Primary Care Doctors Look at Payment Overhaul After Pandemic Disruption

Like other businesses around the country, many doctors were forced to close their offices — or at least see only emergency cases — when the pandemic struck. That led to sharp revenue losses, layoffs and pay cuts.

Physicians and health policy experts say the pandemic is accelerating efforts to restructure primary care — which accounts for about half the nation’s doctor visits every year — and put it on a firmer financial footing.

Some private insurers are also leveraging the pandemic to enhance payment reform. Blue Cross and Blue Shield of North Carolina, for example, is offering financial incentives starting in September to primary care practices that commit to a shift away from fee-for-service. Independent Health, an insurer in New York state, is giving primary care practices per-patient fixed payments during the pandemic to bolster cash flow. Read More: KHN

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