Concerned about neglected healthcare and spike in deaths, physicians’ public service nationwide campaign urges senior patients, “don’t neglect your health” in a video.
Worried about long-term health consequences caused by isolation-especially for senior patients-physicians from 83 communities nationwide are sounding the alarm to patients through a social media video: “Don’t neglect your health. Make a promise to reach out.”
The video is being introduced as part of a national public service campaign urging seniors to resume critical healthcare services and allaying their fears of contracting the coronavirus.
Agilon Health, an organization that champions the role of independent physicians, and its physician partners created the "We are Here for You" campaign encouraging patients to see their doctors now before secondary symptoms arise or conditions worsen.
“We are trying to prevent a crisis within a crisis,” says Ben Kornitzer, M.D., CMO for Agilon Health, “Although seniors are at a heightened risk of contracting Coronavirus, non-COVID19 care should not be overlooked-especially for the elderly and patients with underlying health conditions.”
History has proven this can happen. During the SARS outbreak in 2002 to 2004, hospitalizations for diabetic patients plummeted and then skyrocketed afterwards, according to research by two universities in Taiwan and the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Medicine. A recent ProPublica article indicates that a rise in at-home deaths may be due to patients with conditions such as heart attacks being unable or unwilling to go to a hospital during the COVID-19 outbreak.
“Pandemics change the way society functions,” admits Kornitzer. “In the midst of a crisis, there are opportunities to improve and innovate. Technology and science are now more useful than ever. For example, by connecting with patients via telehealth, we see their physical condition and their living situation-so we can address any concerns or needs."
The “We are here for you” website features content about “telehealth on demand,” virtual annual wellness visits, drive-in telemedicine in parking lots, COVID-19 testing in parking lots and tents, and staggered clinic appointments for patients with Coronavirus symptoms and elderly patients with other healthcare needs.
“Primary care physicians went to medical school to take care of patients,” adds Kornitzer. “We want patients to know we are here for them and we won’t let them down.”