The COVID-19 pandemic in the United States has led to a significant drop in medical procedures as a result of individual and organizational precautions. This decrease, particularly during the first months of the pandemic, has and will continue to have severe implications for plans, providers, and patients.
Although procedural utilization returned to pre-COVID volumes over the summer, the U.S. now faces another COVID-19 surge, with the virus infecting more than 150,000 people each day. Much has been written about declines in emergency room visits for non-COVID conditions, cancer screenings, and vaccinations, but less analysis has been released regarding how these changes are affecting and will affect patients.
Recognizing where procedural deficits lie, and which procedural groups are suffering the greatest drops in volume, will help plans and providers determine how to navigate possible future waves of the pandemic and where to direct future outreach to mitigate the negative effects of utilization declines.
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