Skip 
Navigation Link

1215 South Walnut Ave.
Demopolis, AL 36732 map map 

Access to Care: 1-800-239-2901

Medical Disorders
Resources
Basic InformationLookupsLatest News
College Kid Coming Home for Thanksgiving? Here's How to Keep Your Family SafeLosing Your Hair Because of Pandemic Stress?Pre-Op 'Brain Games' Might Prevent Post-Op DeliriumTransgender People Often Have Heart Risks: StudyPreventive Health Care Falls by Wayside During PandemicTelemedicine Out of Reach for Those Who Can't Get OnlineWhat Will It Take for People to Embrace a COVID Vaccine?Smog Tied to Raised Risk for Parkinson's, Alzheimer's DiseaseWhat Will Convince Americans to Get a COVID-19 Vaccine?CDC Recommends Face Masks in All Public Transportation SettingsNewborns of Moms With COVID-19 Face Little Infection Risk: StudyAs Virtual Doctor Visits Spike, Concerns About Equity, Missed Diagnoses GrowMental Health Issues Double the Odds of Dying With COVID-19, Study FindsDuring Stress of Pandemic, Know Suicide's Warning SignsMost Newborns of COVID-19-Infected Moms Fare WellAccuracy of COVID-19 Antibody Tests Varies Widely, Study FindsGuard Yourself Against the Health Dangers of Wildfire SmokeWildfire Smoke Poses Special Threat to People With AsthmaCOVID Conflicts Are Putting Big Strains on RelationshipsEven Exercise May Not Ease Pandemic-Linked StressWest Coast Wildfires, COVID a Double Whammy to Lung HealthMasks Make Talking Even Tougher for People Who StutterWith COVID Vaccine in Works, 1 in 5 Americans Doesn't Believe in ShotsAHA News: COVID-19's Economic Fallout Expands Food Insecurity, as Groups Scramble to HelpCOVID-19 and Hurricane Season Could Be Deadly MixSprains, Strains? New Guidelines Urge OTC Painkillers, Not OpioidsAHA News: As Hurricane Season and Pandemic Collide, Here's How to Stay SafeCOVID-19 Clinical Trials Lack Diversity, Researchers SayGet Dizzy When Standing Up? It Could Be Risk Factor for DementiaLevels of Anxiety, Addiction, Suicidal Thoughts Are Soaring in the PandemicCOVID-19 Causing More Stress in America Than Other Nations: SurveyPandemic Could Complicate Hurricane Season11 States Could Face ICU Doc Shortages as Coronavirus Cases SurgeYet Another Study Finds Vaccines Are SafeIn Rush to Publish, Most COVID-19 Research Isn't Reliable, Experts SayMany U.S. Homes Too Cramped to Stop COVID-19's SpreadWith Safety Steps, Moms Unlikely to Pass COVID-19 to Newborns: StudyFace Masks Making Things Tough for the DeafU.S. Air Quality Got Better During Pandemic: StudyWill CPR Save Your Life? Study Offers a Surprising AnswerLupus Drug Prevents Low Heartbeat in High-Risk Newborns: StudyMasks, Video Calls: Pandemic Is Hampering Communication for Those With Hearing ProblemsCOVID-19 Deaths Have Already Left 1.2 Million Americans GrievingWill COVID Pandemic's Environmental Benefit Last?Exposure to Iodine in the NICU May Affect Infant Thyroid FunctionZika May Have Damaged More Infants' Brains Than ExpectedCoronavirus Ups Anxiety, Depression in the LGBTQ CommunityWill the COVID-19 Pandemic Leave a Mental Health Crisis in Its Wake?AHA News: Sadness and Isolation of Pandemic Can Make Coping With Grief HarderWildfire Smoke Causes Rapid Damage to Your Health: Study
Questions and AnswersVideosLinksBook Reviews
Related Topics

Cancer
Men's Health
Women's Health

Preventive Health Care Falls by Wayside During Pandemic

HealthDay News
by Cara Murez
Updated: Nov 6th 2020

new article illustration


FRIDAY, Nov. 6, 2020 (HealthDay News) – Americans saw their doctors for preventive and elective care far less often than usual in the first two months of the pandemic shutdown, according to a new study.

That meant far fewer colonoscopies, mammograms, blood sugar tests, vaccines for infants and toddlers, MRIs and more across the United States, according to RAND, the Santa Monica, Calif.-based nonprofit.

Though telehealth visits bridged some of the gap, they only replaced about 40% of in-person visits, the researchers said.

"This adds detailed evidence to the anecdotal reports that Americans quit going to see the doctor when the pandemic shutdown started," said lead author Christopher Whaley, a policy researcher at RAND.

"If important visits are only delayed for a few months, there will likely be no harm. But if patients do not get important screenings, there could be long-term negative health consequences," he said.

The findings were published online Nov. 5 in JAMA Network Open. The report is based on medical records from more than 5 million individuals with private health insurance. The researchers analyzed claims data from 2018 to 2020 from about 200 employers in all 50 states.

The investigators found that, in 2020, overall health care visits declined by 23% in March and 52% in April.

During that time, colonoscopies dropped by 70% compared to March and April of 2019. Mammograms were down 67% among women aged 46 to 64.

Blood sugar tests dropped more than 50%, while vaccination of children under age 2 was down 22%. Angioplasty procedures to restore blood flow through arteries were down almost 17%. Musculoskeletal surgery, cataract surgery and MRIs all dropped by 45% or more. The researchers also saw a small drop in chemotherapy treatments.

During the same period, use of prescription drugs for asthma rose 11%, while use of prescription cholesterol and diabetes drugs had small decreases, according to the report.

Meanwhile, telemedicine visits skyrocketed, rising more than 4,000% in April 2020 compared to April 2019. But the increase in online appointments replaced only about 40% of the decline in office visits, the team noted in a RAND news release.

Patients in lower-income or predominantly non-white ZIP codes had an increase in telehealth visits that was about one-third lower than for those in wealthier neighborhoods. The researchers cited this as an example of increasing health care disparities during the pandemic.

"The extent to which access barriers to telemedicine contribute to lower rates of in-person care deferral, and thus increases in potential exposure to COVID-19, should be examined in future work," Whaley said.

More information

Visit the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention to learn more about the importance of preventive care.

SOURCE: RAND, news release, Nov. 5, 2020