‘So where are they?’: Patient education, PPE critical as Americans delay care in droves

Podcast - July 14, 2020

Patient Access

Patient Engagement

Population Health

In this episode of the MGMA Insights podcast, we’re joined by JaeLynn Williams, CEO, Air Methods, for a discussion on the rising trend of delayed care. According JaeLynn-Williams-headshot.jpgto Kaiser Family Foundation survey results released in late May, almost half of all Americans say they or someone they live with has deferred medical care due to the COVID-19 outbreak. 

“What the data is starting to show is that people are suffering from life-threatening conditions – they’re just avoiding the ER visits. Chest pains, drug symptoms, enflamed appendixes, gall bladders, they’re all staying home out of fear,” Williams said. “The main reason is that people just don’t know. They don’t know that they can and should get care, so I think the public communication, community outreach, those are really critical to get out there and to combat what I think is a really widespread misconception that the emergency department should be avoided.” 

Here are other highlights from Williams’ podcast interview:
  • (6:58) “While we’ve added COVID, the overall health of the United States and the population hasn’t changed. People haven’t stopped having heart attacks or strokes overnight, so where are they?”
  • (10:00) “It really does come down to patient education during this crisis to make sure that they understand that they should seek care, that it is safe to seek care and that healthcare providers are working diligently to invest and wear and take care of PPE and take care of our patients very safely.” 
  • (19:16) “It’s kind of a small sacrifice to put on PPE to be able to keep everybody safe and to go back out and to live life and open an economy and take care of patients. It works.” 
  • (21:13) “This pandemic isn’t going anywhere any time soon, so it’s really important for us to get this word out there and for people to seek the healthcare that they need when they have these symptoms.”

Additional resources:

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MGMA Insights is presented by Decklan McGee, Rob Ketcham and Daniel Williams.

Thanks to CareCredit for sponsoring this episode. 
  • Click here to learn how CareCredit is providing patients with payment flexibility and helping providers deliver a better patient financial experience.

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