In COVID-19 Era, More Patients Appear to Fall Through Cracks

Several months into a pandemic that has fundamentally changed American life, researchers are just starting to understand the impact of COVID-19 on the U.S. health care system. During an Oct. 19 webinar hosted by the Kaiser Family Foundation, experts attempted to shed some light on that wide-ranging impact while underscoring that the effects of the crisis are still evolving.

Michael Kleinrock, a research director at the IQVIA Institute for Human Data Science, said one of the questions he’s most often asked is “when are we going to start catching up” from the missed doctor visits, delayed surgeries and other types of health care utilization deferred by patients during the height of the COVID-19 lockdowns. Although utilization has bounced back from the significant drops it saw in the spring, based on IQVIA’s analysis it hasn’t yet completely returned to normal levels, he pointed out, “so we’re not catching up.”

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Leslie Small

Leslie Small

Leslie has been reporting and editing in various journalism roles for nearly a decade. Most recently, she was the senior editor of FierceHealthPayer, an e-newsletter covering the health insurance industry. A graduate of Penn State University, she previously served in editing roles at newspapers in Pennsylvania, Virginia and Colorado.

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