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During this crisis, some things can’t wait. Your health care is one of them.

03-Sep-2020

While Californians are rightly concerned about COVID-19 and must take precautions against this virus, delaying care can be just as dangerous. 

Understandably, Californians may be reluctant to get medical care as the number of infections fluctuates during the COVID-19 crisis, but data pointing to a secondary health crisis are alarming.  A National Cancer Institute model looking just at breast cancer and colorectal cancer predicts there will be 10,000 excess deaths in the U.S. over the next 10 years because of pandemic-related delays in diagnosing and treating these tumors. Appointments have dropped sharply for patients being screened for breast cancer (94 percent), colon cancer (86 percent) and cervical cancer (94 percent).

Many parents are deferring acute care for their children. Building on an analysis released in April that examined adults pushing off acute needs amid the pandemic, Cigna has released a second study that tracks trends in six potentially serious conditions: acute appendicitis, diabetes, sickle cell, feeding difficulties or failure to thrive, epilepsy and seizure, and asthma.

As many as 20 states across the country are reporting a rapid decrease in the number of children receiving their routine vaccinations   over the past few months, according to a nationwide survey conducted by ABC News. The sudden decline comes as many Americans are fearful to visit their doctors' offices for routine check-ups amid the ongoing coronavirus pandemic.

The number of vaccinations for kids in California dropped nearly in half this April compared to last April, following a worrying national trend as parents avoid doctors’ offices during the coronavirus pandemic, public health numbers show. The number of children vaccinated for diseases such as chicken pox dropped more than 40%. 

All of this points to a secondary health crisis driven by COVID-19: a greater disease burden for Californians resulting from undiagnosed or untreated disease, or from missed opportunities for juvenile vaccinations. 

Plumas District Hospital is doing everything necessary to keep patients and health care workers safe from the spread of COVID-19. Examples include: Separating patients who have tested positive for COVID-19 from other patients.  Providing masks and requiring that all hospital workers, patients, and visitor wear them at all times.  Frequent deep-cleaning of rooms and equipment.  Caring for patients suspected with COVID-19 in special, negative pressure rooms where air doesn’t mix with the rest of the hospital.  Providing separate entrances and exits for patients suspected with COVID-19.

Even if you’ve lost coverage or changed coverage, you can get care.  COVID-19 has caused many Californians to lose their jobs and unemployment is on the rise. There are ways to get health care if you’re out of work.  California’s hospitals provide more than $1 billion in charity care each year to people who need services but cannot afford them. Hospitals also offer rate reductions and flexible payment plans to support those needing care. If you don’t have coverage but need care, contact us to see what options are available.



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