Coronavirus: Survey sees drop in office visits, increase in satisfaction

April 29, 2020

The pandemic is pushing down in-person visits, but patients are more satisfied with the care they are receiving.

A new survey shows that the COVID-19 coronavirus pandemic is decreasing the number Americans visiting their doctor, but that they are becoming more satisfied with the care they are receiving.

The survey, which was performed by The Beryl Institute and marketing research company Ipsos and is called the PX Pulse, also shows that American patients are placing an increased emphasis on reducing the threat of infectious disease due to the pandemic.

Primary care providers are seeing a nine percent drop in visits while hospitals are seeing a four percent drop compared to a previous survey performed in January. The hardest hit by this drop off in patient visits during the studied period are specialists, 13 percent, and laboratories, 14 percent, according to the survey.

There has been a 13 percent increase is patient satisfaction with overall healthcare quality and a seven percent increase in satisfaction with their own care experiences compared with the January survey.

Patients are still mainly concerned with cost when it comes to healthcare with the top three issues they’re facing being affordable health insurance coverage, out-of-pocket costs, and the cost of health insurance premiums. There has been a noticeable jump though in concerns with infectious disease, seven percent increase; communication with patients/families, six percent increase; and quality of hospital care, five percent increase; since January, the survey says.

"COVID-19 is changing the way that Americans interact with the healthcare system, and the results are in," Clifford Young, president of public affairs for Ipsos, says in a news release accompanying the survey results. "In the last two months since our previous PX Pulse, it's clear that fewer Americans are visiting their doctors as many are forced to delay non-essential procedures and check-ups in light of the pandemic. At the same time that fewer people are seeing their doctor, their perception of quality has risen dramatically. As the pandemic evolves, the PX Pulse will provide detailed analysis of the way patients feel about their personal healthcare experience and the system as a whole."