Cancer-Related Services Drop, Could Have Long-Lasting Impact

Years of advances in driving down cancer occurrences and deaths could be completely reversed by the COVID-19 pandemic. A recently published study shows screenings, diagnoses and treatment for various cancers dropped dramatically from March through July when compared with 2019 rates.

Researchers analyzed 6,227,474 claims from a provider clearinghouse representing 5% to 7% of the Medicare fee-for-service population. In April, at the height of the pandemic, screening for breast cancer was down by 85%; screening for colon cancer dropped by 75%; prostate cancer screening declined by 74%; and lung cancer screening was down by 56%. Hospital outpatient Evaluation and Management visits dropped 74% in April; new patient E&M visits fell 70%, and existing patient E&M visits declined 60%.

Angela Maas

Angela has an extensive background of editing, reporting and writing for trade and consumer publications. She has written Radar on Specialty Pharmacy (formerly called Specialty Pharmacy News) since she joined AIS Health in 2005 and has broad knowledge of the various issues at play within the space. Before joining AIS Health, she was managing editor at Employee Benefit News and Employee Benefit News Canada and managing editor at HemAware (a hemophilia publication), Lupus Living and Momentum (a multiple sclerosis publication). She has a B.A. in English and an M.A. in British literature from Arizona State University.

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