Here’s a thought that’s all too common these days: “I’ve been waiting to see the doctor because of the pandemic. I’m not sure when it will be safe to go.”
Most of us don’t know the answer, which is probably why a recent Centers for Disease Control (CDC) survey found that as many as 43 percent of adults had delayed medical care in a recent four week period because of the COVID pandemic. It used to be that cost of care was the major reason why people delayed getting care. But the pandemic has created more reasons for care delays, such as cancelled appointments, cutbacks in transportation options and fear of going to an emergency room. Others cite altruistic desires not to overburden an already-taxed health system.
But delaying care unnecessarily can be bad for your health if your condition worsens or you put your health at greater risk. Let’s look at a few examples.
Senior Director, Health Care Campaigns, PIRG
Patricia directs the health care campaign work for U.S. PIRG and provides support to our state offices for state-based health initiatives. Her prior roles include senior director of health policy with the National Consumers League, senior policy advisor at NJ Health Care Quality Institute, and advocate at AARP and NJPIRG. She serves on the Ground Ambulance and Patient Billing Advisory Committee at the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services. Patricia enjoys walks along the Potomac River and sharing her love of books with her friends and family around the world.