lohud – OP-ED by Anthony Viceroy, CEO
We are now two months into the COVID-19 pandemic and we are beginning to see the long-term effect that it is having on our health system. And, in observing our current patient volume, which is at just over half of our “pre-pandemic” average, it is clear that people are still fearful of becoming exposed to the virus within a health care setting. Delaying essential health care can only go on so long before it begins to take a toll on the health of the population.
Primary care providers (PCPs) and specialty care providers play a significant role in keeping people healthy and out of hospitals. Of course it is important to remain focused on precautionary measures to further reduce the spread of coronavirus. Now, it’s also imperative for providers everywhere to start actively reminding their patients about the role of essential healthcare and the impact that delaying chronic disease management, vaccine schedules and preventive screening, like mammography and colonoscopy, can have on our patient population. Without maintaining a focus on preventive care, we run the risk of losing more lives unnecessarily, maybe even more lives than we have already lost from the COVID-19 pandemic. The non-COVID-19, unaccounted for mortality since the start of the pandemic should be a cause for concern for all.