Professor receives NIHCM grant to study effect of COVID-19 on patients with chronic conditions

Alison Cuellar, Professor of Health Administration and Policy and Director of the Center for Health Policy Research and Ethics, has been awarded a grant from the National Institute for Health Care Management (NIHCM) to examine how the COVID-19 pandemic changed health care for patients with chronic conditions.

The goal of the study is to understand how the COVID-19 pandemic affected treatment for patients with chronic conditions during the immediate lockdown period, gradual reopening, and post-reopening phases.

Following the onset of the pandemic, sharp declines in outpatient and emergency department visits were observed nationally, with more pronounced reductions depending on patients' age, gender, and region. Moreover, recent surveys have found that some patients are continuing to postpone their care.

A number of factors could explain delays in care, including patient preferences, practice characteristics, and state policy. By examining drivers of care for patients with chronic conditions across the United States, this study seeks to inform a broad range of policy recommendations, ranging from patient outreach, clinician and practice support, and alternative practice payments to competition and telehealth policy.

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