Special Report of the RSNA COVID-19 Task Force: The Short- and Long-term Financial Impact of the COVID-19 Pandemic on Private Radiology Practices

Radiology. 2021 Jan;298(1):E11-E18. doi: 10.1148/radiol.2020202517. Epub 2020 Jul 17.


The coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic resulted in widespread disruption to the global economy, including demand for imaging services. The resulting reduction in demand for imaging services had an abrupt and substantial impact on private radiology practices, which are heavily dependent on examination volumes for practice revenues. The goal of this report is to describe the specific experiences of radiologists working in various types of private radiology practices during the initial peak of the COVID-19 pandemic. Herein, the authors describe factors determining the impact of the pandemic on private practices, the challenges these practices faced, the cost levers leaders adjusted, and the government subsidies sought. In addition, the authors describe adjustments practices are making to their mid- and long-term strategic plans to pivot for long-term success while managing the COVID-19 pandemic. Private practices have crafted tiered strategies to respond to the impact of the pandemic by pulling various cost levers to adjust service availability, staffing, compensation, benefits, time off, and expense reductions. In addition, they have sought additional revenues, within the boundaries of their practice, to mitigate ongoing financial losses. The longer term impact of the pandemic will alter existing practices, making some of them more likely than others to succeed in the years ahead. This report synthesizes the collective experience of private-practice radiologists shared with members of the Radiological Society of North America COVID-19 Task Force, including discussions with colleagues and leaders of private-practice radiology groups from across the United States.

MeSH terms

  • Advisory Committees
  • COVID-19*
  • Humans
  • Private Practice / economics*
  • Radiography / statistics & numerical data
  • Radiology / economics*
  • Societies, Medical
  • Time Factors
  • United States