Commonwealth Fund October 15, 2020
Ateev Mehrotra, Michael Chernew, David Linetsky, Hilary Hatch, David Cutler, Eric C. Schneider


Visits for outpatient care, which had fallen nearly 60 percent in April, have returned in the past month to the levels prior to the COVID-19 pandemic.

While outpatient visits overall have rebounded, there’s a lot of variation. The number of visits to dermatologists is actually higher than before the pandemic, while visits to behavioral health providers remains well below.

The COVID-19 pandemic has dramatically altered the delivery of outpatient care. Initially, health care practices deferred elective visits, modified their practices to safely accommodate in-person visits, and increased their use of telemedicine.

In late April, we published results showing that, early in the pandemic, the number of visits to ambulatory care providers had declined by nearly 60 percent. Our mid-May...

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