COVID-19 has challenged many of our patients’ way of life. From mandatory stay-at-home orders, to the shutdown of local businesses, coronavirus has interrupted the lives of most individuals and families.
The coronavirus also created major gaps and barriers to a crucial need for millions of patients: healthcare.
Deferred care, or when a patient forgoes necessary medical care for any reason, has skyrocketed in the last three months. Since the start of the COVID-19 outbreak, an increasing number of patients decided to forgo medical treatment because they wanted to maintain quarantine and avoid a potential coronavirus infection.
Neglecting your medical needs is extremely dangerous and adds more risk factors than you may know. Chronic healthcare conditions worsen when you’re not able to visit a provider, which may lead to more expensive medical needs down the line.
The good news is that patients are likely to have local healthcare providers that can limit, or remove, COVID-19 related barriers to deferred care.:
Types of Care that Patients Are Likely to Defer Due to COVID-19
Patients that defer care are likely to forgo elective surgeries and urgent care as well as primary care and even hospitalizations.
Several analyses by major insurance companies saw a significant drop in emergency care and acute care. Cigna, a major national insurer, found that hospitalizations for critical conditions dropped between 31% and 25% for conditions like ischemic strokes and gastrointestinal bleeding.
Acute conditions treatable at urgent care including asthma, illness symptoms, fatigue, headache, and fever are also being deferred at alarming rates as well. Even deferring acute conditions can lead to more expensive and more harmful medical conditions in the near future.
How patients can lower the need to defer care due to coronavirus
AFC Urgent Care Edgewater provides a variety of services and maintains Centers for Disease Control (CDC) procedures to help patients access healthcare.
Our provider team uses personal protective equipment (PPE), sanitizes and cleans surfaces regularly, and enforces CDC guidelines for social distancing between other patients and providers. Every patient that visits AFC Urgent Care Edgewater receives high-quality and affordable access to care that reduces all possible coronavirus infection risks.
AFC Edgewater also limits deferred care by offering new services, expanding communications, and coordinating follow-up appointments. Our team has built new methods for opening access to care with Non-COVID-19 Frameworks for Care:
- Telemedicine Urgent Care for patients that want to get treatment in their homes. Telemedicine can help patients get treatment for a wide variety of medical issues, such as fever, cough, fatigue and more.
- COVID-19 testing is available for patients that are symptomatic or have had contact with the virus. No appointment is needed but patients must have a visit with the physician for COVID-19 assessment, prior to testing.
- Gradual increases to operational hours and access so that patients can get care whenever it fits their schedule.
If you have any other questions, please contact us today to learn more about our services, telemedicine access, requirements for COVID-19 testing, and in-person care procedures.