Coronavirus: Poll shows patients looking to receive deferred treatment

May 27, 2020

Nearly half of adults have deferred some medical care.

While the COVID-19 coronavirus pandemic has caused patients to defer their medical care, a new poll from the Kaiser Family Foundation has found that they’re likely to seek that treatment once the crisis is averted.

The poll found that 48 percent of adults say they or someone in their household have postponed or skipped medical care due to the pandemic. Of that group, 68 percent, or 32 percent of all adults, said they plan to get that deferred care in the next three months.

A further 10 percent of the respondents say that they will get the care they deferred in four months to one year, two percent say they would get after more than a year, and only one percent say they will not seek the care they deferred, the poll says.

The poll also found that 86 percent of adults say their physical health has stayed about the same since the pandemic began while six percent say their health has gotten better and eight percent say that it has gotten worse.

The results of the poll come at a tense time for primary care physicians feeling the squeeze of the pandemic and government actions such as stay-at-home orders and moratoriums on non-emergency procedures.

In a recent survey performed by The Larry A. Green Center and the Primary Care Collaborative (PCC) found that 19 percent of respondents have temporarily closed their practice and another 18 percent have permanently closed while 42 percent have had to lay off staff or implement furloughs.

PCC has been conducting the survey weekly and it has painted a grim picture of medicine in the time of COVID-19 as respondents saw their situations deteriorate as the shutdown continues.

The PCC respondents also expressed concern about getting paid, with only about one-fifth saying that they have received prospective payments from private insurers and 36 percent say they have received the payments from the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services.