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Many Health Providers on Brink of Insolvency

Virtually all of health care is affected, from surgical practices to dentists to community health centers, which serve 29 million predominately poor patients, to school-based health clinics and emergency ambulance services

Rome News Tribune By Christine Vestal and Michael Ollove (TNS) May 7, 2020

The nation has seen a near total shutdown of medical treatment performed outside hospitals, including physical exams, colonoscopies, dental restorations and routine surgeries, all provided by thousands of primarily small businesses that comprise the physician and clinical services industry.

Many of those businesses, which account for nearly 20% of the nation’s $3.6 trillion health care industry, are at risk of failing, health care experts say.

That could lead to further consolidation of the U.S. health care industry and less competition after the crisis subsides, according to Jonah Frohlich, a managing director at Manatt Health, a national health care consulting firm. “We’re going to see a raft of acquisitions and mergers and integrations with independent clinicians who can’t survive months of no revenue,” he said.

In the meantime, medical providers contacted by Stateline said they’re concerned that patients with chronic conditions such as diabetes, high blood pressure and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease will get sicker without medical care and that postponed diagnostic tests, such as mammograms and colonoscopies, will result in serious illnesses going undetected and worsening.

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