Coronavirus: Poll finds in-person visit volumes increasing

June 9, 2020

In-person patient volumes are recovering swiftly in some parts of the country.

In-person patient visits are starting to recover in some parts of the country as states roll back stay-at-home and shelter-in-place orders, according to a new poll.

The poll was performed the week of May 25 by the National Association of Accountable Care Organizations (ACOs) and found that the number of ACOs reporting decreases in in-person visits of more than 60 percent since the beginning of the COVID-19 coronavirus pandemic has dropped from 13 percent the previous week to nine percent. Overall, about 50 percent of respondents reported that they were seeing between a 20 percent and 40 percent reduction in visit volumes. 

Previous polls by the organization showed the majority of ACOs saw declines greater than 40 percent until mid-May. In the April 27 poll 65 percent of respondents reported such a decline, while the following week saw 68 percent of ACOs reporting volume declines greater than 40 percent, the poll says.

Mid-May seemed to be the time where these volumes started to turn around as the May 11 poll found that 52 percent of ACOs reported declines greater than 40 percent while the May 18 poll showed only 48 percent of respondents with such a steep decline. The March 25 poll found that only 37 percent of respondents reporting a decline greater than 40 percent, the poll says.

The reductions seem to be hitting different areas of the country harder than others as the northeastern region is still seeing major declines while the south, Midwest, and western regions recover swiftly, the poll says.

While hospital-led and physician-led ACOs report similar declines, they were slightly larger among physician-led ACOs. About 20 percent of physician-led ACOs are still reporting in-person patient visit declines greater than 60 percent of the pre-COVID-19 levels, while only about five percent of hospital-led ACOs reported the same level of decrease, the poll says.

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