Since the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic, many Americans have opted to defer or avoid regular healthcare screenings and tests, which has resulted in some negative and tragic outcomes.
The Centers for Disease Control (CDC), has stated that, as of June 2020, just a few months into the pandemic, an estimated 41 percent of American adults had already reported having delayed or avoided medical care. This was because of concerns about COVID-19, including 12 percent who reported having avoided urgent or emergency care.
NPR then reported that in October 2021, months of treatment delays have exacerbated chronic conditions, and some hospitals, with one in Lansing, MI, are operating above maximum capacity with patients lining the hallways. Hospital staff says the severity of illness ranges from abdominal pain to heart conditions and suicide attempts, among others. Even in parts of the country where COVID-19 is not overwhelming the health system, people are arriving sicker and in need of more advanced care.
The New England Journal of Medicine recently reported that hospitalizations for chronic conditions unrelated to COVID-19 have decreased. Mortality rates from dementia, diabetes, and cardiovascular disease increased, while testing for low-density lipoprotein cholesterol and glycated hemoglobin fell. The largest gap can be seen in marginalized populations, which reported disproportionately high morbidity rates from COVID-19, as well as lower survival rates at under-resourced hospitals in low-income areas.
It’s important to stay on-track with these annual screenings, even during the pandemic, as putting off routine check-ups and potential diagnosis can be a dangerous risk. Johns Hopkins has published an article with a list of recommended tests that should not be skipped. This can be a great resource for those who are on the fence about deferring their annual visits. These tests include:
- For children, keeping up with immunizations.
- For men, colonoscopies, prostate cancer screenings, and tests for heart and vascular health.
- For women, colonoscopies, pap tests, mammograms, bone mineral density tests, and tests for heart and vascular health.
While many important screenings and diagnosis must be performed in-person, new technologies and solutions like telemedicine, at home healthcare and virtual care have seen increases since the pandemic began. Recently, Dr. Marion Couch, Chief Medical Officer at Cambia Health, spoke with BioIQ on ‘How the COVID Pandemic Drove Healthcare Innovation – Propelling the rapid expansion of telehealth, safer and faster vaccines, and at-home screenings.’ To view the video, click here.
This is where BioIQ is helpful – we partner with health plans, government agencies, and enterprise companies to offer a wide selection of test kits, health assessments, and wellness vaccinations available for convenient in-home use or a pharmacy near your home. By providing convenient options to access fully integrated healthcare services, health plans and employers can achieve clinical adherence for preventable and treatable conditions and participants/employees can see better health outcomes. These tests include: A1C (diabetes), fecal immunochemical (colon cancer), hepatitis C, heart health, kidney screenings, and many others.
With so much attention focused on COVID-19, it can be easy to forget about all the other important aspects of our health. The good news is that with good health screenings, in many cases, BioIQ can prevent or catch issues early so that treatment can be more effective. Contact BioIQ today to see how we can partner with you to bring at-home screenings and testing to your participants or employees.