Studies, Surveys and Reports: What Can We Learn?

There is no shortage these days of organizations gathering information and analyzing it to determine what it is saying to us. These recent reports focus on the pandemic in one way or the other, our government’s response to, the acceleration and shift of small practice physicians to larger practices, and the toll on mental health to name a few. We will no doubt continue to analyze the pandemic’s effect on everything for times to come but he are some insight today.

National Association of State Technology Directors Releases State Government Pandemic Response Survey Summary
The National Association of State Technology Directors (NASTD) (@nastd), which represents information technology (IT) professionals from all 50 states, through four regions and the private sector, has released the findings of its State Government’s Pandemic Response Survey of state government central IT agencies. NASTD’s Research Committee, comprised of state government IT members, a member representative from the private sector and association staff, developed the survey questions. Thirty-eight states responded to the survey. The survey consisted of 21 questions covering areas like security, workforce, network management, budget, continuity of operations, policy and governance.

AMA Analysis Shows Most Physicians Work Outside of Private Practice
The majority of patient care physicians worked outside of physician-owned medical practices in 2020, according to a newly released biennial analysis (PDF) of physician practice arrangements by the American Medical Association (AMA) (@AmerMedicalAssn). This is the first time the share of physicians in private practices has dropped below 50% since the AMA analysis began in 2012.

Although data collected by the AMA from 3,500 U.S. physicians through the 2020 Physician Practice Benchmark Survey show the continuation of shifts toward larger medical practices and away from physician-owned practices, the magnitude of change since 2018 suggest these trends have accelerated. The survey was conducted from September to October 2020, roughly six months into the COVID-19 pandemic, and therefore may not reflect the full impact the pandemic will have on physician practice arrangements.

The Doctor Is Out? Many Americans Wait for Prescriptions; Most Want Physicians to Use Mobile E-Prescribing
Despite decades of growth in electronic prescribing, about half (53%) of Americans say some of their prescriptions are still sent to the pharmacy by phone, fax, or paper. They also often wait days for even urgently needed medications, according to a recent survey from health technology pioneer DrFirst (@DrFirst). The survey also reveals that nearly three-quarters of Americans (72%) want their doctor to use a mobile e-prescribing tool when away from the office.

Has the Covid Vaccine Accelerated Our Return To Normal or Not?
As Covid-19 vaccines continue to roll out across the world, how much have attitudes about going out really changed since last year? Even with the vaccinations and up-to-date safety measures that have been implemented over the last nine months, do people feel comfortable getting back to normal activities, or are they still being careful and waiting before resuming their regular activities?

Invisibly (@GetInvisibly) used it’s Realtime Research tool to poll 1044 Americans to find out how they feel about returning to their life activities right now during current pandemic circumstances. They then compared the results to an identical survey conducted in July 2020.

As pandemic’s toll on mental health mounts, moms and caregivers experience increased stress and demand for mental health care, CVS Health survey finds
According to findings from a recent CVS Health (@CVSHealth) survey, the COVID-19 pandemic has universally amplified levels of stress and anxiety among women, with moms and caregivers most deeply affected. Six-in-ten women say the pandemic has had a negative impact on their overall levels of stress, and nearly half (46%) say they are experiencing significantly more or somewhat more stress compared to this time last year. In fact, women said they have experienced fear or concern about the impact of COVID-19 on their family’s or friend’s health (66%), their health (60%) and their household’s financial situation (49%).

Deloitte 2020 Survey of US Health Care Consumers
THE COVID-19 pandemic has turned the health care system upside down and challenged consumers’ sense of well-being. In many ways consumers are taking charge of their health more than ever before. They are learning about their health risks, communicating with their doctors in new and different ways, and changing their attitudes about data privacy. Each of these factors has a significant influence on how consumers are feeling and interacting with the health system. Going forward, how will these events and factors change consumer behavior? Are we more or less likely to see empowered health care consumers?

We gained an understanding of current US consumer behaviors and attitudes through the 2020 Deloitte (@DeloitteUS) Center for Health Solutions’ biennial survey (the Deloitte 2020 Survey of US Health Care Consumers). Since 2008, Deloitte has been conducting this survey to explore and collect longitudinal data on the subject, and this year we rolled it out just before the pandemic started. We also collected insights from a consumer survey during the pandemic (in April and early May 2020)—The Health Care Consumer Response to COVID-19 Survey.

Behavioral health: Need Grew, Access Shrank During Pandemic
Behavioral health care providers cut hours and staff during the pandemic, according to a new report from the Government Accountability Office (@USGAO). At the same time, Americans were suffering more symptoms of anxiety and depression compared to early 2019. During the first seven months of the pandemic, there were 36% more emergency room visits for drug overdoses and 26% more visits for suicide attempts, compared with the same period in 2019. The report raises another issue: Were insurers skirting—or even ignoring—parity rules?