Data: Bureau of Labor Statistics; Chart: Naema Ahmed/Axios

The health care industry lost more than 1.4 million jobs in April, and more than four out of five of those lost jobs were at dentists, doctors, chiropractors and other outpatient offices.

The big picture: Routine checkups, eye tests and teeth cleanings don't take precedence in a pandemic. But even as states reopen businesses and more clinics attempt to reschedule appointments, patients likely won't come back quickly.

Between the lines: More patients have used telehealth services to consult with doctors about basic medical questions or follow-ups that don't need to be done in person. That's helped offset some of the lost revenue from canceling non-urgent visits.

  • But telehealth has its limits. People can't get cavities filled or carpal tunnel surgery virtually.
  • Consequently, with those services halted and revenue drying up, the technicians, billing clerks and medical assistants who work in outpatient settings — many of whom are not highly paid — have felt the brunt of the job loss. Many doctors also have had to cut their own pay.

What's next: Patient visits are not expected to return to pre-coronavirus levels anytime soon — so don't expect all of these jobs to return anytime soon either.

  • "Of all the places people want to come back to quickly, a health care setting is probably not at the top of the list," said Ani Turner, a health economist at Altarum.
  • Patients who have lost their insurance or who are worried about catching coronavirus un a waiting room will likely stay away even from outpatient facilities.
  • Research also suggests people cut back on health care during recessions, even if they still have employer coverage.

Go deeper: The health care workers who are losing their jobs

Go deeper

Updated Aug 4, 2020 - Health

The states where face coverings are mandatory

Data: Compiled by Axios; Map: Danielle Alberti/Axios

Mississippi Gov. Tate Reeves issued a statewide mask mandate on Tuesday for people in public, as well as teachers and students going back to school.

The big picture: 34 states, in addition to the District of Columbia, have issued some form of a mask mandate as infections surge across the country.

12 hours ago - Health

Study finds COVID-19 antibodies prevalent in NYC health care workers

Photo: Noam Galai/Getty Images

More than 13% of health care workers in the greater New York City area tested positive for coronavirus antibodies, according to a newly published study.

Why it matters: The rate at which health care professionals tested positive for antibodies is consistent with the rate of COVID-19 antibodies found among randomly tested adults in the state of New York. The data released Thursday "is important so [health care workers] can protect themselves, their patients, their colleagues, and their families," per JAMA researchers.

20 hours ago - Health

The health care sector imploded in Q2

Data: U.S. Bureau of Economic Analysis via FRED; Chart: Andrew Witherspoon/Axios

The pandemic has been very good for health insurers — largely because they don't need to pay for procedures that haven't been happening.

By the numbers: The value of health care services performed in America in the second quarter plunged to $1.69 trillion, from $2.26 trillion in the fourth quarter of 2019. The unprecedented drop was enough on its own to account for 9.5 points of the 32.9% annualized fall in second-quarter GDP.