Here’s how COVID-19 impacted Pa’s non-emergency care | The Numbers Racket

(Photo via Flickr Commons)

The impacts of COVID-19 have been far-reaching, touching every Pennsylvanian and business in the Commonwealth, including non-emergency care facilities. 

An April survey conducted by the Pennsylvania Medical Society of 983 physicians in 55 of Pennsylvania’s 67 counties found a shortage of personal protective equipment in many facilities, medical staff layoffs, increased telemedicine usage and a drop in elective care. 

Note: PAMED collaborated with Rockpointe Corporation and several other state medical societies for this survey. Pennsylvania data was gathered in late April.

Findings

56 … the percentage of respondents that say the number of procedures performed at their facility dropped by at least 76 percent since the pandemic began in March.

12 … the percentage of respondents who say their medical practice had either temporarily or permanently closed. 

18 … the percentage of respondents who are not sure if their medical practice will close. 

Noteworthy

A noteworthy change caused by the onslaught of the COVID-19 pandemic is the exponential jump in telemedicine usage. 

Prior to the pandemic, just 13 percent of non-emergency care facilities reported using the technology to see patients. 

By the time of the survey in April, nearly three weeks into the COVID-induced shutdown, 86 percent of respondents reported using telemedicine technology. 

Twenty-seven percent report telemedicine reimbursement as “difficult” or “very difficult,” the survey found. 

Staff reductions

Of non-emergency care facilities …

76 percent have reduced clerical staff.

69 percent have reduced nurse staff

49 percent have reduced nurse practitioners or physician’s assistants

43 percent have reduced physicians on staff

20 percent have less than a week’s worth of personal protective equipment (PPE) in stock.

Cassie Miller
A native Pennsylvanian, Cassie Miller worked for various publications across the Midstate before joining the team at the Pennsylvania Capital-Star. In her previous roles, she has covered everything from local sports to the financial services industry. Miller has an extensive background in magazine writing, editing and design. She is a graduate of Penn State University where she served as the campus newspaper’s photo editor. She is currently pursuing her master’s degree in professional journalism at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln. In addition to her role at the Capital-Star, Miller enjoys working on her independent zines, Dead Air and Infrared.