Lehigh Valley Physician Group in Allentown, Pa., is the most recent example of physician groups furloughing staff and turning to telemedicine in response to the COVID-19 pandemic, according to a report from cut .
The group is furloughing 900 staff members as in-person visits drop. The practice is also seeing a significant boost in virtual visits. The furloughs are temporary, and some staffers are taking on different responsibilities, the group said.
Practices are taking different measures to keep their businesses running as elective surgeries cease and in-person visits transition to telehealth. Philadelphia-based Rothman Institute cut staff hours by 50 percent, and physician partners there are temporarily foregoing pay.
New England Orthopedic Surgeons in Springfield, Mass., furloughed more than half of its workforce earlier this month, and Boise (Idaho) Anesthesia Physician Associates laid off 53 employees while the practice's physician owners stopped taking paychecks.