The Financial Impact of the COVID-19 Pandemic on Neurosurgery Practice in Spring 2020

James P. Caruso, Karin Swartz, Catherine Mazzola, Vin Shen Ban, Ravi Singh, Cody Eldridge, Clemens Schirmer, Joseph Cheng, Andrew M. Bauer, Michael Steinmetz, Owoicho Adogwa

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

1 Scopus citations


Background: The coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic has changed health care delivery across the United States. Few analyses have specifically looked at quantifying the financial impact of the pandemic on practicing neurosurgeons. A survey analysis was performed to address this need. Methods: A 19-question survey was distributed to practicing neurosurgeons in the United States and its territories. The questions evaluated respondents’ assessments of changes in patient and procedural volume, salary and benefits, practice expenses, staffing, applications for government assistance, and stroke management. Responses were stratified by geographic region. Results: The response rate was 5.1% (267/5224). Most respondents from each region noted a >50% decrease in clinic volume. Respondents from the Northeast observed a 76% decrease in procedure volume, which was significantly greater than that of other regions (P = 0.003). Northeast respondents were also significantly more likely to have been reassigned to nonneurosurgical clinical duties during the pandemic (P < 0.001). Most respondents also noted decreased salary and benefits but experienced no changes in overall practice expenses. Most respondents did not experience significant reductions in nursing or midlevel staffing. These trends were not significantly different between regions. Conclusions: The COVID-19 pandemic has led to decreases in patient and procedural volume and physician compensation despite stable practice expenses. Significantly more respondents in the Northeast region noted decreases in procedural volume and reassignment to nonneurosurgical COVID-related medical duties. Future analysis is necessary as the pandemic evolves and the long-term clinical and economic implications become clear.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)e1-e10
JournalWorld neurosurgery
StatePublished - Sep 2021


  • COVID-19
  • Finance
  • Pandemic
  • Socioeconomic

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Surgery
  • Clinical Neurology


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