The socioeconomic effect of COVID-19 on pediatric ophthalmologists: data from the first 12 months

AAPOS Socioeconomic Committee

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

Purpose: To investigate the socioeconomic effect on pediatric ophthalmologists (POs) of the first year of the COVID-19 pandemic and to assess the association of practice type with financial impact. Methods: An email follow-up survey of all AAPOS active members (POs) in April 2021, was used in conjunction with two prior surveys. The majority of US states were represented, and respondents were categorized as academic/university (AU), hospital employee (H), or one of three types of private practice: multispecialty ophthalmology practice (MSP), pediatric ophthalmology/strabismus group (PG), or solo practice (SP). Results: The cumulative results during this one-year period revealed 1,533,203 examinations not performed, of which 498,291 were Medicaid. Over 65,000 surgeries were not performed. The average salary loss per PO was $57,188. The total loss of revenue for the pediatric ophthalmology sector was over $303,788,000. Practice groups making at least 75% of their prior year revenue were as follows: H, 81%; AU, 64%; MSP, 52%; PG, 50%; SP, 40%. Salary reduction in each group was as follows: H, 4.2%; AU, 15.4%; MSP, 17.2%; PG, 23.1%; SP, 40.9%. The average loss per practice was $290,151. More than 95% of private practice POs received funds from the Paycheck Protection Program. Conclusions: At the one-year mark of the pandemic, patient care had been severely disrupted, with subsequent financial consequences. Private practice providers (and especially solo practices) were disproportionally negatively affected.

Original languageEnglish
JournalJournal of AAPOS
DOIs
StateAccepted/In press - 2022

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