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Healthcare Workers on Front Lines Battle Physical, Mental And Financial Strain As 1 In 4 Expect Pay Cuts This Month

Providers in rural areas expect sweeping cuts, with half of rural providers anticipating pay decreases. Nearly 40 percent of providers in Atlanta and Dallas are expecting pay cuts.

The report from Bain & Company shows frontline clinicians continue to worry about becoming ill, while compensation cuts likely to increase and nearly two thirds are not getting additional mental health resources to cope with the stress

The majority of healthcare professionals treating Covid-19 patients worry about becoming ill. Yet, according to Bain & Company’s latest survey of US healthcare workers, nearly two-thirds of them are not getting additional mental health resources to help cope with the stress, and one-quarter expect a compensation cut for the month of April. With ER and ICU doctors’ and nurses’ safety already at risk, these factors present an additional threat to frontline clinicians’ well-being. As hospitals lose revenue from the elective surgeries canceled to protect patients and preserve supplies for frontline physicians, additional pay cuts are likely in the coming months.

These are the findings in the second Covid-19 Front Line Pulse Check, a special edition of Bain & Company’s sixth annual Front Line of Healthcare reportThe report surveyed over 300 physicians and nurses nationwide, once in March and again in April, to highlight the evolving sentiments and needs of those fighting Covid-19 on the front lines.

“We are looking closely at frontline sentiment as the situation evolves,” said Joshua Weisbrod, a partner with Bain & Company and head of the firm’s Americas Healthcare practice. “The doctors and nurses living this battle day in and day out are the best source of information about what is working and where additional resources are needed. With pay cuts likely to increase in coming weeks and mounting pressure on supplies, businesses and governments must continue to listen intently, incorporating frontline feedback into their strategies.”

Of the clinicians surveyed that expect their pay to decrease this month, half expect to see a cut of at least 25 percent. Healthcare workers in New York were least likely to expect pay cuts, with 17 percent anticipating a decline in pay. Providers in rural areas expect sweeping cuts, with half of rural providers anticipating pay decreases. Nearly 40 percent of providers in Atlanta and Dallas are expecting pay cuts.

Though clinicians’ concern for their own health remains elevated, Bain & Company’s second Front Line Pulse Check highlights some potential relief in areas where cases are flattening, such as LA and Seattle. A much smaller proportion of clinicians in these areas described themselves as very concerned about their own health compared to March. The level of concern has dropped across most US regions, with 56 percent of April 13 survey respondents describing themselves as very concerned, down from 76 percent of respondents surveyed two weeks earlier. In New York, however, frontline clinicians remain very concerned about their health, showing no change in sentiment, as Covid-19 incidence remains at extremely elevated levels.

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