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New CDC Data Shows COVID-19 Impacted Access to Care for Nearly 4 in 10 Americans

August 31, 2020

Recently released analysis from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention revealed additional insight into the impact of COVID-19 on patients across the country. The data—compiled through the Research and Development Survey (RANDS) platform—found that nearly 40 percent of patients saw reductions in their access to one or more types of care as a direct result of the pandemic.

The RANDS data was collected between June 9 and July 6 and measured the impact on access to care during the previous two months. The survey included access to several types of services, including:

  • Dental care
  • Diagnostic or medical screening tests
  • Hearing care
  • Prescription drugs or medications
  • Regular checkups
  • Surgical procedures
  • Treatment for ongoing conditions
  • Urgent care
  • Vision care

During the early phases of the pandemic, Pennsylvania’s health care providers and facilities—including hospitals and health systems—complied with the order to cancel scheduled, routine, and non-emergency services and procedures as a way to preserve resources and capacity for COVID-19 patients. The order was lifted during the spring, and hospitals gradually began to safely resume these important services.

Hospitals have put in place additional safety measures to protect patients and health care workers from COVID-19, including:

  • Increased temperature checks and screenings
  • Limiting visitors
  • Asking everyone to wear a mask
  • Asking about any possible exposure you may have had to people with COVID-19
  • Testing for COVID-19 before some procedures
  • Having patients check-in by phone from their car
  • Staggering appointments
  • Increasing the frequency of deep-cleaning high-traffic areas
  • Maintaining social distancing
  • Removing magazines and other shared items from waiting rooms
  • Reminding everyone about hand washing
  • Shutting off access to water fountains or other amenities in common areas

During June, HAP launched a public information campaign through its Healthy Me PA community to encourage Pennsylvanians not to delay necessary medical care and to contact their provider to get their health care back on track. Additionally, HAP has created a special webpage and resources to help patients and their families navigate care during the COVID-19 pandemic.

For additional information, contact Robert Shipp III, PhD, BSN, RN, vice president, population health and clinical affairs.



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