While social distancing is essential, “medical distancing”—staying away from the doctor’s office for fear of contracting COVID-19—is dangerous. Just as phrma.org’s latest campaign strives to remind people that seeking care is not only safe but necessary, we see it as our duty at PatientPoint to provide patients, physician practices, and brands the support they need to ensure effective engagements are still occurring at the point of care.
Our business is driven by a deep understanding of patient and physician behaviors and desires at critical touchpoints in the care journey. We know your business relies on these insights as well. That’s why we are continually talking to our network of physicians, analysts, and industry insiders to secure proprietary data that we can use to provide you with the most up-to-date insights into the pulse of marketplace.
Here are three new insights, according to patient-level claims data and the latest results of ongoing, independent COVID-19 patient surveys.
1. Patient visits are steadily increasing and now exceeding 2019.
While the impact on patient traffic was significant during the onset of COVID-19 in late March and April, since that time primary care office visits have steadily increased and returned to near normal ranges in June and July.
2. The second COVID surge is not impacting patient traffic in physician offices.
An additional look at trends across the country, using the same patient-level claims data, uncovers that primary care practices in most states have returned to their pre-COVID patient volumes (despite the second surge).
3. Telehealth visits are leveling off.
As more patients return to the doctor’s office, we see the percentage of telehealth visits now comprising approximately 10-11% of all primary care visits (compared to about 25% at the peak of COVID in mid-April). According to our recent consumer surveys, 72% of patients say they prefer in-person appointments.
Through our ongoing data collection, we hope to separate fact from fiction about patient care and COVID-19, and provide an ongoing benchmark of real insights straight from doctors and patients during this unprecedented time. We will continue to apply what we’ve learned to ensure we make every doctor-patient engagement better at all points of care.
Keep up to date on all of our latest research and insights by visiting our COVID-19 News of the Day blog.