First-of-its-kind analysis of a longitudinal cohort of 4 million residents shows that there is significant work to be done closing gaps in care due to pandemic.
Key findings of the report comparing healthcare utilization during COVID-19 to pre-pandemic levels:
- Ambulatory visit volumes across the state initially fell by more than 50%. Although visit volumes quickly rebounded, they remained about 20% below baseline levels.
- Ambulatory visit declines for children and adolescents were substantially larger than for adults.
- The volume of preventive services, such as cancer screenings, fell 20%–40%. This included drops for mammography (-20%), colonoscopy (-34%) and cervical cancer screenings (-41%). It will be important to catch up quickly on these screening services and monitor whether cancers are diagnosed at later stages across the next few years.
- In contrast, volumes for other services, such as hip arthroplasty and PET scans, were down only modestly for the year.
“As California reopens, this report shows that the entire healthcare system needs to prepare for a major surge of catch-up care,” said Claudia Williams, CEO of Manifest MedEx. “Let’s be smart about how our state handles these aftershocks. This is a key moment for the population health management infrastructure Manifest MedEx has been building for years which gives providers and plans the insights they need to reach patients most in need, ensuring they get essential health and preventive services.”
More details of the findings in the “Pandemic Aftershocks” report are available online. This report is based on an analysis of a longitudinal cohort of just over 4 million Californians, about 10% of the state’s population. Also included in the report are high-level recommendations on how health policy officials, clinicians, and health plans can come together to address the gaps in care.
“The COVID-19 pandemic has highlighted tremendous health care inequities facing many children and families across California,” said Gabriella Barbosa, Managing Director of Policy at The Children’s Partnership. “Health data networks like Manifest MedEx serve a critical role in supporting public health by providing information that uncovers health trends in order to provide better care for children and their families. We are deeply concerned by the report’s finding of a significant drop in children’s health care. It is imperative that we utilize these findings to continue improving our health care systems so that they are just, responsive, affordable and patient-centered.”
About Manifest MedEx
As California’s leading nonprofit health data network, Manifest MedEx delivers real-time information to help healthcare providers and health plans care for millions of patients every day. Together, we are transforming the healthcare landscape across the state, supporting California as a leader in affordable, proactive, and compassionate medical care. For more information, visit manifestmedex.org and follow us at @ManifestMedEx.