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The coronavirus pandemic has done more than shut down businesses and restaurants. It has also disrupted Americans’ medical care. GoodRx released a new survey showing how coronavirus has impacted the health care system and what this has meant for those seeking treatment.
Three out of four Americans had to adjust their health care use due to the pandemic, according to the survey of more than 1,700 respondents. This includes canceling or postponing a doctor’s visit, switching to telemedicine, stockpiling prescriptions, and skipping or rationing medications.
Prescription drug shortages of inhalers and hydroxychloroquine, an unproven treatment for COVID-19, the disease caused by coronavirus, top the list of drugs difficult to obtain due to shortages, affecting 11 percent of patients.
A side effect from job losses due to the pandemic is loss of employer-provided health insurance. Fifty-five percent of respondents who were let go are still uninsured.
GoodRx notes that these disruptions to health care use will likely have a lasting effect on patient health and the system at large. Canceled or delayed care could result in negative long-term consequences. Rationed or skipped prescription medicine doses could trigger avoidable health problems that result in hospitalization. Loss of insurance could result in even more unaffordable care.
Have your health care plans been disrupted by coronavirus? Share your story with Voices for Affordable Health.