Have Health Care Consumer Attitudes Changed During The COVID-19 Pandemic?


By Deasia Lamar, Communications Intern

The Alliance of Community Health Plans (ACHP) and the Academy of Managed Care Pharmacy (AMCP) recently partnered to explore shifts in consumer behavior and attitudes towards health care services due to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic. The research was conducted by Leede Research in response to many reports of American consumers using their health care services differently now.

The groups released a national survey exploring responses from 1,263 adults between the ages of 18-74 from May 1 – 6, 2020. According to the results, up to 72 percent of U.S. consumers have changed their usage of traditional health care services.

Fifty-eight percent of surveyed participants turn to their doctors as the most trusted source of reliable information, but only 31 percent of participants are comfortable visiting the doctor’s office. Many have delayed standard health care services or experienced feelings of discomfort around visiting health care providers for medical treatment. Here are some other findings:

  • 41 percent of respondents have delayed health care services,
  • 38 percent of respondents intend to delay future care, treatment, and procedures,
  • 36 percent of respondents are concerned about their ability to access testing and treatment, and
  • 42 percent feel uncomfortable going to a hospital for any medical treatment.

Fortunately, ACHP and AMCP report that consumers are feeling “very comfortable” picking up prescriptions from local pharmacies and discussing their medications with local pharmacists, showing the importance of pharmacists in today’s shifting health ecosystem. Virtual health care, known also as telehealth, was reported to be an area of promise amid the COVID-19 pandemic as 28 percent of respondents discussed trying virtual appointments, with an 89 percent rate of satisfaction. The groups stress the importance of a value-based health care delivery system in order to effectively take care of patients.

To learn about research from the ACHP and AMCP, click here.