The COVID-19 pandemic is a global crisis unlike anything modern medicine has faced and is testing the limits of our healthcare infrastructure at national and local levels. From a care delivery perspective, the bulk of attention, and rightly so, has been placed on the acute needs of COVID-19 patients and the brave healthcare workers on the frontlines providing care.
While this is all incredibly important and urgent work, our current environment is likely to create significant challenges for both patients with pre-existing conditions unrelated to COVID-19 and for the providers delivering that care to those patients. In particular, the patients in most need of care, particularly those receiving specialty drug therapy, face the greatest potential hardships.
In order to better understand how the COVID-19 pandemic is affecting these patients, Decision Resources Group conducted a survey among U.S. physicians across five specialties (Oncology, Rheumatology, Gastroenterology, Psychiatry, and Neurology) about the impact on care and treatment decisions.
In what is likely to be unsurprising for most, our outreach to physicians found that care delivery for patients across all specialties tested is being disrupted in a myriad of ways and is disrupting traditional prescribing habits. After aggregating and analyzing the data collected, three primary themes emerged:
- Access and delivery of care is adapting to fit evolving social norms thrust upon us by the pandemic;
- Mode of administration is impacting prescriber choice in ways not previously seen;
- Providers do not foresee practice normalization occurring in the near term.