Shedding Light on Consumer Health Care Attitudes During COVID-19
COVID-19 is disrupting health care and health care systems all over the world. The virus also is significantly changing the way U.S. consumers use traditional health care services, a point that was underscored in new survey results released last week from AMCP and the Alliance of Community Health Plans (ACHP).
Consider that 72 percent of respondents indicated that the pandemic has negatively impacted their health care, and only 31 percent of respondents feel “comfortable” visiting their doctors’ offices. Digging deeper into the results:
- 41 percent have delayed health care services.
- 42 percent feel uncomfortable going to a hospital for any medical treatment.
- 45 percent feel uncomfortable using an urgent care or walk-in clinic.
- 38 percent intend to delay future care, treatment, or procedures.
During our press conference last week, ACHP CEO Ceci Connolly shared that consumer anxiety shows through in most aspects of the survey data. Consumers are anxious about going to their doctors’ offices and hospitals, their ability to keep their health insurance, and their overall financial situations.
There are some bright spots, however. I am proud to see how the survey validates the crucial role pharmacists play in health care and the confidence consumers have in pharmacists. For example, pharmacy usage during the pandemic remains strong. The survey showed that 47 percent of respondents had received prescription medications in the last 90 days, and of those, 90 percent of respondents got their medications from a local pharmacy.
In fact, pharmacists can further support the strained health care systems with expanded roles. Of the nearly two-thirds of respondents who would like to be tested for coronavirus, a significant percentage indicated that they would be willing to get tested for COVID-19 at a pharmacy.
Another uptick in health services relates to telehealth, with 28 percent of respondents using some type of virtual care in the past three months — nearly tripling previously documented averages. Of those users, 89 percent said they were satisfied or very satisfied with the experience.
I can cover only the survey’s highlights in this blog, but I urge you to dig into the details. As managed care pharmacy professionals strive to get patients the medications they need at a cost they can afford, please know AMCP remains committed to delivering you the most up-to-date resources. Thank you for your dedication to managed care pharmacy.