Insider News: Shifting trends

Posted by AllWays Health Partners blog team on June 25, 2020

This week we're covering shifting health care trends, from technology to hospital visits. Learn how telemedicine is increasing patient satisfaction, how health insurance coverage is shifting post-COVID-19, and an unintended side-effect of stay-at-home mandates.

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Telemedicine visits foster physician-patient relationships, drive patient satisfaction: Study from Mayo Clinic Proceedings.

Patients who used Doctor On Demand's telemedicine visits appreciate their relationships with the physician and overall user experience, including access and convenience, according to a study in Mayo Clinic Proceedings. The study finds the majority of patients who interacted with 5-star rated physicians commented favorably on the interpersonal connection and relationship-building aspects of virtual visits. Patients also valued "building rapport" with their physician. Among the findings, which coded patient comments into groups:

  • Over 30% of the patient comments were classified as "Building Rapport"

  • The next most frequently assigned code was "Shares Information and Provides Guidance"

  • Among codable comments, the third most frequently assigned code was "User Experience"

  • "Provided Treatment" only accounted for 2% of comments, while previous studies suggest prescription receipt was a major driver of satisfaction

Thousands flock to health insurance marketplaces as coverage shifts due to COVID-19 from NASHP

The National Academy for State Health Policy (NASHP) found states that operate their own health insurance marketplaces are reporting a rise in enrollments, with over 240,000 SEP enrollments since early March. Of these new enrollments, more than 50,000 have signed up during the special enrollment periods (SEPS), which opened specifically so that uninsured individuals could enroll in coverage in response to the pandemic.

These figures are expected to grow as lingering economic impacts and the expiration of temporary policies to limit coverage losses leave more individuals uninsured. NASHP showed COVID-19 SEP enrollment in Mass. reached 31,510 in the Mar. 11-June 23 SEP period.

Emergency department visits for life-threatening conditions decline amid pandemic: study from The Hill

An analysis published by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention found that emergency departments have seen a drop in visits related to life-threatening conditions during the weeks since COVID-19 was declared a public health emergency.

There was a 23% drop in heart attack-related visits, a 20% drop for strokes, and 10% for uncontrolled high blood sugar. These decreases don't indicate that fewer people are experiencing these serious medical conditions, but rather that there may have been unintended side effects to stay-at-home recommendations and mandates.

The authors of the report say their findings suggest people are having greater difficulty accessing care or were delaying care for various reasons. This lack of critical care is likely a partial contributor to higher death rates during the pandemic. But, experts hope that with improved infection control procedures and better communication around getting care, more patients will begin to return for necessary health care.

Community webinar series

Sign up for the next event in our virtual community support workshop series, Strengthening Relationships During This Pandemic. The workshop will take place on Wednesday July 8, 2020 at 12:00 PM - 12:45 PM EST.

This virtual workshop is all about building, strengthening and sustaining relationships during the stress of the Covid-19 situation. Whether you are living with people or socially distanced from the people you love, Susan Trotter, PhD., Relationship Coach and Public Speaker, will share tips and advice to grow your relationships during the age of quarantine and social distancing.

Topics: COVID-19, Employers

Disclaimer: The content in this blog post represents the clinical opinions of the providers at AllWays Health Partners and is based on the most currently available clinical and governmental guidance.

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