by Jinghong Chen

Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the number of visits to ambulatory care practices dropped almost 60% in mid-March, according to a new analysis by researchers at Harvard University and health care technology company Phreesia. Surgical and procedural specialties saw the greatest impact, with the number of visits between March 1 and April 5 decreasing more than 60%. Meanwhile, a recent FAIR Health study reported that larger hospitals and health systems were hit harder financially by the pandemic. The average per-facility revenues based on estimated allowed amounts in large facilities decreased from $4.5 million in the first quarter of 2019 to $4.2 million in 2020.

NOTES: The average per-facility revenues are based on estimated allowed amounts, which refer to the total fee negotiated between an insurance plan and a provider for an in-network service. The Consumer Price Index was used to adjust the 2019 numbers to reduce any confounding variables of chargemaster increases between 2019 and 2020 or rate negotiations between the two years.

SOURCES: “What Impact Has COVID-19 Had on Outpatient Visits?” Commonwealth Fund, April 2020. Visit “Illuminating the Impact of COVID-19 on Hospitals and Health Systems, A Comparative Study of Revenue and Utilization,” FAIR Health, Inc. Visit