The pandemic has made addressing chronic care conditions difficult for primary care practitioners as patients opt to defer care, according to a recent report by the Medical Group Management Association.
Daryl Huggard, administrative director for U of U Health's Community Physician Group, contributed to the report by sharing some of the challenges patients and physicians are facing.
"The report really highlights the struggles that we have been seeing in primary care as far as addressing ongoing chronic illness," Huggard said. "Patients have been so concerned about the impact of COVID that they have been hesitant to come into the clinic."
Physicians, staff, and administrators have been able to address some of these concerns through telehealth. "However, most chronic conditions (diabetes, high blood pressure, etc.) need to be addressed, at least periodically, in the clinic." Huggard said.
Outreach to these patients has proven critical. It includes educating patients about clinic safety. "The report helps groups see that it is a trend among all patients and that there are means to address it," Huggard said.