When the pandemic hit last spring, doctors and dentist offices shut down, in part to preserve scarce masks and gloves. When they reopened, though, some Ohioans stayed away, not scheduling well visits or preventative care for fear of catching the coronavirus. Now that adults are getting vaccinated, are they rushing to their doctors’ offices?
A study by the Medical Group Management Association and Humana showed 97% of physician practices reported a drop in care volume by early April 2020. Safety was a primary concern for patients under the pandemic, causing nearly 87% of people to defer care. The study also revealed that 9% postponed care due to job or insurance loss, while 4% said it was due to elective surgery bans or noncompliance with mask requirements.
Melissa Wervey Arnold, chief executive officer for the Ohio Chapter of the American Academy of Pediatrics, noted that after an initial drop in care volume last spring, she noticed an uptick in patients returning to visits.
Arnold pointed out that children are visiting the doctor more as restrictions loosen and schools start to reopen.
“We think as kids are going back to school, they are going back to their doctor,” Arnold said.
Dr. Nirav Vakharia, a primary care doctor with Cleveland Clinic, says public outreach created a significant uptick in patients coming in from deferred care. He his primary care group went from reaching out to roughly 4,000 people through telephone, MyChart, or text to over 20,000 a week currently.
“We are really laser focused on trying to find these patients who have deferred their care and helping them understand what is okay to keep postponing versus what they might want to get on top of sooner rather than later,” Vakharia said.
Read the full article from msn.com here.