June 4, 2020

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COVID-19 CA Physician Survey: Do Critical Care Doctors Have What They Need?

To help Californians and state policymakers understand evolving demands on the state’s health care system during the COVID-19 pandemic, CHCF is working with survey firms on two fronts. CHCF and global survey firm Ipsos are assessing residents’ desire for COVID-19 testing and their access to health care services. CHCF and Truth on Call, a physician market-research firm, are surveying hospital-based critical care, emergency department, and infectious disease physicians about staffing and the availability of testing, personal protective equipment (PPE), intensive care unit beds, and ventilators.

April 2, 2020 — In a statewide survey released today by CHCF and Truth on Call, 74% of hospital-based critical care physicians surveyed said that patients and health care workers at their hospital who need it can get tested for COVID-19 right now. The remaining 26% said they did not have enough testing available to meet current needs.

Seven in 10 said their hospital has adequate supplies of PPE for clinicians to treat the patients they have right now. The remaining 30% said they lack sufficient PPE to meet current needs.

Surveyed physicians were asked if patients and health care workers at their hospital who need to be tested for the virus that causes COVID-19 can obtain a test right now. Overall, 74% of physicians reported that testing was available, and 68% of safety-net physicians — defined as serving a patient population consisting of 30% or more of Medi-Cal or uninsured patients — reported that the testing was available. In a question about PPE, 70% of all physicians said they had adequate PPE to treat the patients they have right now, while 67% of doctors in the safety net said they had enough PPE.

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Physicians expressed more concern about having what they need in the coming weeks. Physicians were asked to rank on a scale of one to five — with one being “not worried” and five being “extremely worried” — the availability of PPE, intensive care unit beds, ventilators, and staffing to treat COVID-19 patients along with other critical care patients they expect to see in the next month.

Nearly two-thirds of physicians (66%) rated their level of worry about PPE as four or five, suggesting that they were very or extremely worried about shortages at their hospital in the coming month. Safety-net providers are slightly more worried.

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On the adequacy of ICU space and ventilator supplies for patients in the next month, 61% of physicians rated their level of worry at a four or five. Again, safety-net providers are slightly more concerned.

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On the question of whether physicians were worried about insufficient numbers of health care providers to meet patient needs in the next month at their institution, 50% rated their worry at a four or a five.

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The physicians were surveyed from March 26 to March 31, 2020. On March 30, California Governor Gavin Newsom announced the creation of the California Health Corps to boost the state’s health care workforce. Tens of thousands of people have already signed up.

The data released today represent a benchmark. CHCF and Truth on Call will continue to survey doctors in the coming weeks.

Methods

This survey was conducted online using Truth on Call‘s proprietary physician database. Responses were solicited over email, and methods were employed to ensure a representative sample of physicians treating at least 30% of patients who are on Medi-Cal or are uninsured. The study consisted of 140 California physicians practicing emergency medicine, critical care, or infectious disease in a hospital setting. Responses were collected between March 26 and March 31, 2020. Truth on Call is a division of Slingshot Insights.

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COVID-19 Survey Shows Californians’ Access to Care and Desire for Testing

March 27, 2020 — CHCF and survey firm Ipsos are conducting a weekly tracking survey of Californians’ experience with COVID-19 testing and their access to health care services. The first survey was released March 27, 2020 and showed that few Californians (0.8%) reported trying and failing to receive a COVID-19 test in the previous week. While 11% of state residents said they would like to get tested for the disease, 68% said they do not need to be tested now.

Californians with incomes at or below 138% of the federal poverty guidelines (PDF) were more likely to want a COVID-19 test (18% versus 11%). This may reflect the fact that Californians with low incomes are more likely to have chronic conditions that put them at higher risk from complications if they contract the new coronavirus that causes COVID-19.

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In response to a question about their experience with health care over the last seven days, 68% of Californians said they had not sought care. The survey found some evidence that people are forgoing health care visits over concern about coronavirus. Less than 4% of residents report being unable to access care in a timely manner, saying they either tried and failed to make an appointment or that the wait was longer than they thought reasonable.

Californians with incomes at or below the poverty guidelines were more likely to have seen a health care provider in person in the past week relative to the overall population (18% vs. 10%). However, Californians with low incomes were also more likely to report having to wait longer than they thought reasonable for an appointment. This is consistent with findings of previous surveys showing access challenges among low-income patients.

Changing Rules

In light of state and federal regulations being modified to make more health care providers eligible to be reimbursed for video or phone appointments, CHCF/Ipsos is also tracking the experience of people who visited a health care provider by video or phone. In Friday’s survey, 3.6% of Californians reported having a telehealth appointment in the past week.

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The data released today represent a benchmark. CHCF/Ipsos will continue this survey as the pandemic develops in the coming weeks. Download the charts and data for your own presentations and analyses.

This survey was conducted online in Ipsos’s Omnibus using the web-enabled “KnowledgePanel,” a probability-based panel designed to be representative of the California general population, not just the online population. The study consisted of 1,113 representative interviews conducted among California residents who were at least 18 years old between March 20 and March 25, 2020.The margin of error is +/-3.1 percentage points.

The post COVID-19 CA Physician Survey: Do Critical Care Doctors Have What They Need? appeared first on California Health Care Foundation.