More than 10% of survey repondents with chronic illness (eg, asthma, diabetes), would avoid seeking needed care because of fears related to COVID-19.
Patients with chronic conditions, from asthma to type 2 diabetes, are particularly worried about maintaining their health during the COVID-19 pandemic, including seeing their physicians for routine care and access to medications. In fact, on average, 40% are worried/very worried about going to a medical facility, including the ED, for needed care, and more than 10% are so worried they would not seek that care. Nationally, aprpoximately 20% of patients, no matter what their disease state, are worried about managing their health. These findings are based on a survey of 185,000 patients conducted by health and measurement company Evidation Health.
This short slide show summarizes Evidation survey results on COVID-19 impact on heatlhcare utilizatoin obtained between March 12 and April 14, 2020. Data were analyzed across 8 major chronic conditions (the company tracks 39.)
Disruptions in care. One-third report missing or cancelling a previously scheduled appointment in the past 2 week; 7% say they haven't been able to obtain a prescription or have not been taking medications as prescribed, to extend supply.
Patients with high-need chronic conditions are affected in higher proportions. Patients with chronic pain have had particular difficulty keeping or scheduling an in-person appointment; appoximately 4 in 10 of patients with the 7 other chronic conditions report similar disruption.
Patients with chronic illnesses also are having more trouble with medication supply - More than 10% of patients with chronic conditions report being unable to obtain needed medications or foregoing prescribed use to extend supply - compared to 8% of respondents across all 39 conditions included in the survey.
Individuals are concerned about maintaining health, getting needed care under the pandemic conditions. And, they are afraid. Twenty per cent report being worried/very worried about access to physician's appointments and medication. Moreover, 42% are worried/very worried about going to a doctor's office or the ED for necessary care and 10% say they are so worried about going to a medical facility that they would avoid seeking care altogether.
Persons with chronic conditions are more concerned about being able to maintain health through ongoing medical care. In particular, more than one-third of those with chronic pain similar proportions of those with rheumatoid arthritis and type 2 diabetes are worried/very worried vs 21% across all conditions.
Fear of going to a medical facility for needed care during the COVID-19 outbreak is affecting close to half of respondents with the 8 chronic conditions higlighted. More than 10% are so concerned about visiting a healthcare setting that they would not seek needed care.
Use of telehealth options by patients with chronic conditions to replace a cancelled appointment or make a new appointent is perhaps better than might be expected-- on average, virtual care was accessed via phone/text/email by 27% and via live video by 19%); however, the combined average use of the options offered is still only 46% among these patients, meaning more than half of patients with chronic conditions are not yet using substitute care.