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69% of Chronic Disease Patients Are Struggling to Cope During Coronavirus Outbreak, Survey Finds

By Eric Volkman – Apr 20, 2020 at 10:11AM

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Inability to access health care or pay for medications are among their acute concerns.

The strain that the SARS-CoV-2 coronavirus outbreak is putting on the healthcare system is having a strongly negative impact on people who suffer from chronic diseases. That's the stark finding of a new survey conducted by market research company InCrowd with patients that are coping with such ailments.

According to the survey's results cited by FierceHealthcare, 69% of respondents said that they are currently having at least some difficulty managing their conditions. The survey comprised patients with seven types of conditions -- cancer, multiple sclerosis, high blood pressure, asthma, migraines, diabetes, and autoimmune diseases.

Man at a table with bottles of pills.

Image source: Getty Images.

One key issue cited was access to healthcare, given the level of resources and the number of professionals being deployed in the fight against COVID-19. Some respondents said they were unable to see doctors or secure appointments for needed procedures.

Another problem was the affordability of medications, since many companies are either laying off or furloughing their employees. People now out of work who also have chronic conditions worry that they won't be able to afford the medications they need; some report that they are "stretching" their current supply.

Broadly speaking, 70% of the survey's respondents said they were more concerned about the state of their health than they were at "normal" times, and almost one in three said they were afraid to leave their homes to receive medical treatment.

Such conditions would understandably favor the growth of remote-medicine services such as Teladoc Health (TDOC -3.35%), which has seen its profile rise significantly amid the ongoing coronavirus stay-at-home mandates. Teladoc is a high-profile company in its segment.

That said, Friday wasn't a good day for Teladoc shares; they fell 0.5% on the day, in contrast to the 2.7% gain posted by the broader market as measured by the S&P 500 index.

 

Eric Volkman has no position in any of the stocks mentioned. The Motley Fool owns shares of and recommends Teladoc Health. The Motley Fool has a disclosure policy.

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