June 25, 2020 / by Heather Landi
Ambulatory care practices are beginning to rebound from the staggering 58% drop in patient visits in late March but new data shows that things are far from normal.
Visit numbers have rebounded in May and early June but are still substantially lower than before the U.S. pandemic began, according to an analysis by researchers at Harvard University and health tech company Phreesia.
Researchers analyzed visit volumes for 50,000 providers and found that patient trips to ambulatory practices during the week of June 14 are still down 11% compared to baseline.
The cumulative deficit in visits from March 15 to June 20 is nearly 40%, the analysis shows. The cumulative deficit is the fraction of all visits during this roughly three-month time period that did not occur, researchers said.
While that represents an emerging rebound from the 60% drop in patient visits seen in mid-March, the data indicates that practices still have a long road ahead as they adapt to an evolving pandemic.
After several months of lost visits and revenue, practices are still recovering from closed sites, staff layoffs, and furloughs while trying to assist patients to obtain care that had been delayed.