Survey: COVID-19 negatively affects radiation clinics

By staff writers

May 20, 2020 -- Eighty-five percent of radiation oncology clinics responding to a survey experienced a drop in the number of patients they saw in April despite quickly implementing safety enhancements during the pandemic, according to data from the American Society for Radiation Oncology.

On average, physicians said they saw two-thirds of their typical number of patients between April 16 and April 30 despite taking precautions like requiring staff and patients to wear masks, social distancing, and not allowing visitors. Decreases were due mostly to delayed or deferred treatment and fewer patients being referred for radiation therapy, according to the survey.

COVID-19 also is creating financial challenges. All respondents to the survey estimated their practice would incur loss; 43% estimated it would be in the range of 21-30%. Freestanding radiation oncology clinics are expected to get hit harder, with one in five predicted to lose more than half of their annual revenue, according to the poll.

Copyright © 2020

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