A strength of our decentralized system is that an independent team of researchers in Washington State, frustrated by the slow federal response, started testing on their own.
They also rely on a fee-for-service revenue stream that depends on people coming in for face-to-face visits. What we are seeing now because of stay-at-home orders and the shut-down of much of our economy, is that those private practices are experiencing serious challenges to their revenue. We are hearing of a 30 to 50% decline in revenues because providers can’t bill for visits that don’t happen and because there is no payment for telephone consultations. That creates a weak spot in our primary care system.