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The new study was published in JAMA Network Open, with major findings on the coronavirus pandemic impact on healthcare utilization, including telemedicine, deferred care, as well as racial and income disparities.
FREMONT, CA: Castlight Health, a leading healthcare navigation platform, has published the results of the first comprehensive study of overall healthcare utilization and delayed care for the self-insured employer market during the COVID-19 lockdown. The new study was published in JAMA Network Open, with major findings on the coronavirus pandemic impact on healthcare utilization, including telemedicine, deferred care, as well as racial and income disparities.
General healthcare utilization by covered employees declined 23 percent in March 2020, and 52 percent in April 2020, with a large decrease of approximately 70 percent in preventative care for top chronic health conditions, including routine disease management and cancer screenings. Delayed care for patients aged 46 to 64 during March and April 2020 is a matter of concern, including:
• 70 percent decrease in colonoscopies
• 67 percent decrease in mammograms
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• 51 percent decrease in HbA1c diabetes testing
"Managing complex health conditions is challenging even in the best of times," stated Dr. Dena Bravata, co-author of the study and chief medical officer at Castlight Health. "However, the rate of deferred care that we have documented is alarming, not only in terms of the risks to patients but also to the companies who employ them. Telehealth is helping some populations get the care they need, but is not being utilized by many of the most vulnerable."
"The significant reduction in utilization of preventive healthcare services will have downstream effects on the health of employees," stated Maeve O'Meara, chief executive officer of Castlight Health. "To mitigate the future impact on workforce health and productivity, employers can leverage digital and high-touch solutions to navigate employees to high-value care."