What were the additional medical setbacks the American public suffered during the Covid-19 Pandemic…..
To Deliver Preventive Care Enhancing Population Health After Covid-19
On the Houston Healthcare Initiative podcast, Dr. Steven Goldstein said that it was possible to reverse the preventative care reversals suffered during the Covid-19 pandemic. Everyone can stay healthier, and possibly live longer by re-committing to prevention as part of our collective health regimen.
Pandemic Pull Back
How much did Americans miss when it came to preventative or elective care during the pandemic? Quite a bit according to Dr. Goldstein. “The drop off was precipitous and happened in a very short period during the spring of 2020,” he told his listeners. “Vaccinations dropped by 60% in April 2020. In the same period practically, no one got a colonoscopy with an 88% decline for those.”
What Will Happen Now?
Dr. Goldstein said to expect preventive care use to return to its pre-pandemic rates. “But the gaps created over the last year have critical implications for patients’ long-term health and could potentially lead to poorer outcomes over time,” he stated.
The Full Impact of Covid-19
The full effect of the pandemic on the American public is not known yet. But hospitals and health systems are aware of trends caused by delayed health screenings and the worsening of some chronic conditions.
The COVID-19 pandemic led to a decrease in preventive screenings because some patients were hesitant to see their health care provider. That was understandable. “But with more and more places opening, it’s important to get back to the preventative tests, screening and medication that helped you and everyone stay healthy and manage those chronic conditions,” Dr. Goldstein concluded. “Preventive care helps everyone stay healthy.”
The Norm of Preventative Care
Preventative care is and has always been considered best practice for all physicians and their patients. Finding something and treating it early generally means a better outcome for patients including less expensive treatments. Screenings are important to avoid future health problems or catch them early when they are easier to treat.
Preventive care measures things like cholesterol, body mass, along with breast cancer screenings, prostate cancer screening and some general health counseling. Screening and test diagnosis helps doctors find abnormalities sooner than later. Cancer is the example most know about. But the same caution with respect to blood pressure, arterial blockages in the heart and other organs are just as important.
“An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure.” This saying is reflected in proposed health reform plans and the efforts to increase investments in prevention throughout the U.S. healthcare delivery system. With evidence that nearly 40 percent of all deaths in the United States are due to behavioral causes, attention to prevention has encompassed obesity and tobacco smoking prevention in addition to vaccinations and cancer screening.
Chronic diseases are the leading cause of death and disability worldwide and are linked to increasing health costs. Preventative care is advocated as part of a population health approach and includes both clinical preventative services and screening tests.
Identifying and preventing potential problems downstream is one strategy for controlling utilization and improving health outcomes.Most health plans must cover a set of preventive services — like shots and screening tests — at no cost to you. This includes plans available through the Health Insurance Marketplace®.
About the Houston Healthcare Initiative
The Houston Healthcare Initiative podcast with Dr. Steven Goldstein is an information vehicle for people who want to know all medical options for themselves and are interested in reforming the healthcare industry. To learn more about the Houston Healthcare Initiative please visit www.houstonhealthcareinitiative.org.