Survey: Government shutdown is affecting patient health


A majority of U.S. health care professionals report that their patients have been negatively affected by the federal government’s partial shutdown, according to a survey conducted Jan. 11 by health care market research company InCrowd.

Survey: Effects of the government shutdown

The results showed that 58% of the 165 respondents (52 primary care physicians, 51 physician assistants, and 63 registered nurses) surveyed believe that their patents have been affected in some way by the shutdown: Three percent said that almost all of their patients have been affected, 32% said that some have been affected, and 23% said that only a few patients have been affected. The largest share of clinicians (42%), however, believes that none of their patients have experienced any effects from the shutdown, InCrowd reported Jan. 17.

That distribution changes considerably, however, when looking at the physicians only: 4% (almost all), 39% (some), 31% (a few), and 26% (none). Registered nurses (50%) and physician assistants (45%) were much more likely to say that none of their patients had been affected, InCrowd reported.

“Patient access to care and compliance issues due to financial concerns and loss of benefits are already being observed by respondents. Forty percent of respondents reported a high degree of both issues with patients affording medicine and incidences where patient avoided treatments and appointments all together,” the InCrowd investigators said.

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