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HVPCI Set to Become Bellwether Measure of Impact to Non-Covid-19 Patients and Their Physicians

HVPCI captures the effect of physician distancing and the rise in telehealth on acute and chronic patients within the top twenty therapeutic areas

HealthVerity, the leader in privacy-protected data exchange for pharmaceutical manufacturers and insurers, today announced the launch of the HealthVerity Patient Confidence Index, or HVPCI, and reported the first national benchmark score of 68. Indexed against a pre-pandemic score of 100, this level is considered “Critical” in terms of patient engagement with the US healthcare system.

The HVPCI represents a measure of physician visits undertaken by non-COVID-19 patients across twenty key therapeutic areas, highlighting the sharp decline in visits since the pandemic took hold in the US at the beginning of March. The HVPCI is crucial as an expression of the confidence in patients to seek care for acute and chronic illnesses balanced with the risk of exposure to coronavirus in a public setting. As coronavirus cases peak and eventually subside, this indicator will ultimately serve as an overall measure of US patient engagement between patients and their physicians.

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This week’s national score of 68, or Critical, signals the overwhelming reluctance by patients to visit their physicians for treatment. The trend is directly contributing to challenges in adherence and access to chronic medications, especially injectables and infusions, and a decline in first diagnosis for many important diseases. Physician distancing thus increases the risk of further hospitalizations at a time when America’s hospitals are nearing full capacity.

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The hardest-hit specialties, as measured by weekly medical claims received, include Ophthalmology (43), Dermatology (44), Otolaryngology (51), Endocrinology (62) and Rheumatology (63). Specialties such as Surgery (65), Cardiology (70) and Oncology (79) are also experiencing declines consistent with the broader market. Not surprisingly, the least impacted discipline was Infectious Disease (90), still reinforcing that all specialties were below the baseline score of 100.

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“HealthVerity is well-positioned at the center of the largest, fully interoperable data ecosystem in the US and we proudly present the Patient Confidence Index as a stark reminder that there are two sides to the COVID-19 story,” said Andrew Goldberg, chief operating officer at the company. “We expect the HVPCI to enable pharma, insurers and key authorities to keep the long-term focus on restoring the confidence in our country’s national provider network and to enable patients to safely seek the care that they need.”

As a further indicator of the dramatic shift in patient behavior since the arrival of COVID-19 in the US, the top twenty physician specialties have seen an exponential increase in telehealth visits. Data supporting the development of the HVPCI indicates a ramp in telehealth of 1,090% in the past 30 days with the largest demand for Primary Care, Pediatrics, Behavioral Health, Cardiology and Gastroenterology. Many health plans and hospital systems encouraged telehealth visits by waiving co-pays and creating on-demand scheduling. While telehealth represents less than 8.0% of the total claims received, the trend is expected to be an important equalizer with respect to near-term physician distancing.

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