The coronavirus pandemic is going to trigger a second healthcare crisis.
As hospitals prepare to be overwhelmed by COVID-19 cases, non-emergency appointments are being canceled or delayed. But the phrase “non-emergency” is a bit of a misnomer.
For patients with mental illness or chronic disease, missing a med check or kidney care appointment, while maybe not an emergency right now, could easily become matters of life or death for the medically vulnerable who postpone appointments and procedures.
That’s not to say that an all-hands-on-deck approach to combating COVID-19 is the wrong strategy—it’s necessary. But the unintended consequence of moving not-urgent care to the sidelines is likely to create an even bigger storm. Telemedicine is a start, but not all specialties are equally equipped to adapt, and inequitable internet and technology access limits viability as an alternative to in-office appointments for a large swath of Americans. LogistiCare President and CEO, Daniel E. Greenleaf discusses the larger implications of the coronavirus response in Business Insider, reflecting on how the pandemic could trigger a second healthcare crisis.