Individuals with chronic pain are particularly vulnerable during the COVID-19 pandemic.
This population is at higher risk of developing serious COVID-19 and must limit contact, but they also live with painful conditions that require regular medical care.
In order to better understand the challenges the pain community is facing and find ways to help, U.S. Pain Foundation recently conducted a survey of 664 individuals with pain about the impact of COVID-19.
The data, published in an April 15 report, highlights several concerning trends.
Key data points
- 77.4% said they were experiencing barriers to medical care
- 63.8% said they were experiencing increased pain
- 56.1% said they didn’t understand their insurer’s telehealth coverage policies
- 25.3% said they had not been informed by anyone of their telehealth options
- 25.1% said that despite the special circumstances, their insurer would not cover more than a 30-day supply of medication
- 13.6% said their appointment can be done over telehealth, but their clinician doesn’t offer it
- 10.2% of respondents said their clinician refused to refill medications over telehealth
In their own words
I pretty much feel l have to put my life at risk by forgoing my medical care in order to not put my life more at risk by catching this virus in a hospital or doctor’s office.
I’m already fighting with them [insurance] on so many other medications and devices, I don’t really want to add figuring out telehealth to the list.
I have to physically go to pain management just to pick up my prescription. I feel this is unnecessary and dangerous considering my health issues.