The pandemic produced no end of health care anomalies, not the least of which was the rate at which people with multiple chronic conditions avoided care for nearly three years. Unfortunately, those who needed ongoing care avoided it more than any other group.

As we emerge from the heart of the pandemic, physicians are finding that this trend toward delayed medical care (DMC) had serious consequences. Instances of pre-pandemic treatable/curable cancers that went undiagnosed exploded, while the health of those with multiple chronic conditions who avoided regular checkups got much worse.

But a growing number of medical experts believe the pandemic also helped provide plan sponsors with powerful tools to help improve the health of their chronically ill plan members. Telemedicine and telehealth, both mere sideline players prior to COVID, are now regularly accepted by both patients and physicians as part of their health care program.

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Dan Cook

Dan Cook is a journalist and communications consultant based in Portland, OR. During his journalism career he has been a reporter and editor for a variety of media companies, including American Lawyer Media, BusinessWeek, Newhouse Newspapers, Knight-Ridder, Time Inc., and Reuters. He specializes in health care and insurance related coverage for BenefitsPRO.