Public Health

Overcoming practice sustainability challenges during COVID-19


Physician practices are confronting new and unique operational and business challenges as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic. The AMA urged Congress and the Administration to provide relief to physician practices in the Coronavirus Aid, Relief and Economic Security (CARES) Act.

Featured updates: COVID-19

Access the AMA's library of the most up-to-date resources on COVID-19, including articles, videos, research highlights and more.

The AMA has developed new resources for practicing physicians in response to the unique operational and business challenges posed by the COVID-19 pandemic. These build on previous AMA efforts to ensure physicians and their practices have the most current information and resources they need to navigate the changing landscape of COVID-19.

These resources include:

  • Read a full summary on what the CARES Act means to physicians and medical students.
  • This fact sheet provides resources about programs that will soon be available through the Small Business Administration (SBA), as well as information about tax provisions intended to assist physicians immediately. Refer to the SBA website for further details.
  • This AMA payment resource provides detailed information on how to request accelerated or advance Medicare payment during the COVID-19 crisis. A CMS Advance Payment Program FAQ provides additional guidance.
  • This resource details CMS payment policies & regulatory flexibilities during the COVID-19 emergency.
  • The AMA’s new financial checklist provides physicians and administrators with high-level guidance and 14 practical tips for keeping a medical practice in business during this public health crisis.
  • A new AMA resource gives guidance to physicians and practices that are developing policies and procedures for triaging non-urgent patient requests, targeted to private practice physicians who are facing new and unfamiliar challenges in safely delivering care to non-urgent patients.
  • The AMA’s Quick Guide to Telemedicine in Practice, designed to help physicians and practices deliver remote care, provides implementation tips, as well as a reference to Current Procedural Terminology (CPT®) codes for reporting telemedicine and remote care services. Also available is a fact sheet for Medicare coverage of telehealth services.
  • Recent measures that have altered the provision of health care services across the country have raised concern about the potential liability of physicians and other health care professionals who are responding to the pandemic. Access a list of liability protections for health care professional that are currently in effect.
  • This AMA resource outlines key options for physician practices to consider in order to control labor costs, including redeployment, outside activities, compensation changes, workforce reduction, benefit modifications, legal compliance and stimulus relief considerations.
  • The AMA developed new coding guidance to assist physicians and medical practices in using Current Procedural Terminology (CPT®️) to properly report medical services provided to COVID-19 patients. These CPT resources provide specific coding advice and describe 11 scenarios (PDF, includes information on codes 36415, 99284) to help health care professionals apply best coding practices for office, telehealth or online services provided to patients during the pandemic.
  • It also includes a quick-reference flowchart that outlines CPT reporting for COVID-19 testing (PDF) and a new AMA web page devoted to information on CMS payment policies and regulatory flexibilities related to COVID-19.

The AMA will release additional resources in response to the COVID-19 pandemic to support physicians and the patients they care for, and more resources are in development to address the ongoing needs of physicians. For additional resources for physicians and health care workers on the frontlines, please view the AMA’s COVID-19 Physician Resource Center.

Share your ideas and experiences about the financial and business challenges during COVID-19 with the AMA by emailing us. The AMA is committed to rapid dissemination of strategies and tactics to support physicians and care teams. Your experiences will help AMA better support physicians and practices during this challenging time.

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