New Jersey Healthcare Monitor Survey Results: 2022 Post-Pandemic Outlook for New Jersey’s Healthcare Sector

Income Down, Telemedicine Here to Stay; Reduced Reimbursements and Increased Regulatory Burdens Remain Top Concern for New Jersey Physicians
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Roseland, NJ (November 16, 2021) – It has been an unprecedented year for New Jersey’s healthcare sector, and while a growing number of physicians have experienced a decrease in income, a higher percentage have a more favorable outlook on their medical practice than in 2019, according to the new Brach Eichler 2021 New Jersey Health Care Monitor.

This survey is the ninth survey conducted by the New Jersey-based law firm, which has one of the leading healthcare law practices in the state. Through this survey, the firm seeks to ascertain how the tumultuous year has affected their practice. It showed that New Jersey physicians and healthcare practitioners continue to face challenges to a changing industry but are overall satisfied with their practices.

A majority of physicians surveyed (58%) said income from their professional practices decreased in the last year. This is an 18% increase from 2019, indicating that income continues to drop across the industry. Despite this change, a higher percentage (30%) of respondents had a favorable outlook concerning their medical practice in 2021 than in 2019 (18%). In fact, 63% of respondents said this year that they would recommend the medical profession as a career to a young person graduating from college, a ten-point increase from the 2019 survey.

“It is a testament to the resiliency of New Jersey’s physicians that despite a decrease in income and an increase in significant demands from the COVID-19 pandemic, they still believe in their profession,” said Brach Eichler Managing Member and Healthcare Law Practice Chair John D. Fanburg. “People are increasingly joining the healthcare industry primarily driven to help people and contribute to their community, with less of a focus on financial considerations.”

The COVID-19 pandemic has led to a growing reliance on technology and telemedicine to connect to patients, as 60% of physicians who responded said that telemedicine will become a permanent part of their practice. Additionally, 46% said the changing healthcare environment has led to growing expenditures on technology compared to 37% of respondents in 2019. Due to virtual care becoming part of the new normal, physicians will be increasing their investments in digital health capabilities.

Some additional takeaways:

  • Reduced reimbursement rates and increased administrative burdens because of regulatory or compliance issues remain top concerns among physicians – nearly 70% of respondents said they were dealing with an increased administrative burden as a result of regulatory or compliance issues (versus 63% in 2019).
  • 31% of respondents said their greatest challenge during the COVID-19 pandemic has been caring for patients.
  • Reduced reimbursement is physicians’ biggest concern going into 2022, followed by dealing with the COVID-19 pandemic, increased administrative burdens impacting operating costs and/or patient care, keeping up with regulations and compliance demands, and increased pressure to give up independent practice.
  • 32% of respondents said their practice has already gotten back to a pre-pandemic “routine,” while 22% expect to return to a pre-pandemic routine in more than 12 months, 18% expect 12 months, 12% expect 6 months, 8% expect 9 months and 5% expect 3 months.
  • Much like other industries, the physicians’ greatest challenges are losing and keeping staff and ongoing supply issues.
  • Despite these challenges, 62% of respondents answered they are not considering merging or modifying their practice in the near future.

“The COVID-19 pandemic brought an unprecedented set of challenges to the healthcare sector,” said Brach Eichler Healthcare Law Member Joe Gorrell. Joe continues “caring for patients, reduced income, dealing with staff concerns/illness, keeping up with COVID regulations and procurement of PPE were among physicians’ greatest challenges during the pandemic, according to the survey.”

“The pandemic is creating two extremes for many doctors – either being inundated with infected patients or struggling financially because patients are anxious to come to appointments,” Healthcare Law Member Lani Dornfeld noted. “The pandemic exacerbates a growing problem of burnout in the profession.”

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About the Survey

In September 2021, Brach Eichler surveyed 228 physicians, including solo practitioners, members of group practices, and employees of healthcare facilities. To access the full results of the survey, click here.

About Brach Eichler’s Healthcare Law Practice

Leaders in healthcare representation, the attorneys at Brach Eichler serve individuals and entities from every corner of the healthcare industry. The firm’s knowledge across a wide spectrum of issues, including M&A and other transactions; licensure; white-collar criminal; litigation; contract negotiations; business sales, purchases, and other alliances; Medicare and other reimbursement issues; corporate and regulatory compliance, and other matters helps the firm’s clients successfully negotiate today’s complex healthcare environment. The attorneys at Brach Eichler are trusted advisors, working closely with healthcare providers to address the myriad legal and business issues that arise in the delivery of healthcare. The firm is known for innovation, flexibility, and a focus on practical solutions. Noted ranking company Chambers USA acknowledges Brach Eichler as having one of the leading healthcare law practices in New Jersey.

About Brach Eichler LLC

Brach Eichler LLC is a full-service law firm based in Roseland, NJ. With over 80 attorneys, the firm is focused on the following practice areas: Healthcare Law; Real Estate; Litigation; Trusts and Estates; Corporate Transactions & Financial Services; Personal Injury; Criminal Defense and Government Investigations; Labor and Employment; Environmental and Land Use; Family Law Services; Patent, Intellectual Property & Information Technology; Real Estate Tax Appeals; Tax; and Cannabis Law. Brach Eichler attorneys have been recognized by clients and peers alike in The Best Lawyers in America©, Chambers USA, and New Jersey Super Lawyers.

Related Practices:   Healthcare Law