One Year Later: The Lasting Effects of The Pandemic on Health Care

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One Year Later: The Lasting Effects of The Pandemic on Health Care

Bre D’Alessio South
By Bre D’Alessio South
Feb 05, 2021
Holly Phillips, MD
Medically Reviewed ByHolly Phillips, MD
One Year Later: The Lasting Effects of The Pandemic on Health Care

The celebratory arrival of the COVID-19 vaccine took flight at the closing of 2020, and with its arrival came a sense of hope that our days of restricted living would soon end.

A month into 2021 and it’s clear we’re far from ending any social distancing measures. While states continue to update and tweak vaccination rollout logistics, we are very much still in the midst of a pandemic. Only now we are looking back armed with a full year of research, discovery, and information, garnered in the days, weeks, and months since after the coronavirus pandemic took hold.

Since the first COVID-19 infection/case was reported, unemployment rose as high as 14% in April of 2020 and continues to fluctuate. In addition to financial constraints, many Americans are canceling routine doctor visits, delaying non-urgent surgery, and falling behind in their health care management.

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Financial Impact Still Triggers Over Half of Americans

In light of the coronavirus pandemic, other urgent health care crises are starting to bubble up as aftereffects of the virus. Throughout 2020, we reported on the rise in mental health conditions, a growing concern around a mental health emergency born from over a year maintaining our existence isolated and separated from loved ones.

An underlooked crisis is the one among health care workers and mental health. We are now beginning to understand the psychological impact on frontline health care workers and how burnout and emotional distress are often the results of these impacts.

Americans are still facing financial turmoil, too. Recent research, conducted by Phoenix Marketing for RxSaver, shows that 51% of adults reported they have been negatively impacted financially by the pandemic.1

This Hispanic community, one of the hardest-hit populations by the coronavirus, accounted for 65% of those surveyed who have been impacted financially.1 60% of Millennials were also one of the largest demographics1 to still be financially impacted even a year after the first COVID-19 case was reported.

The Decline of Medication Adherence

Due to financial hardships, many Americans are opting to forego medication to save on money. This month, 15% of adults reported that they had stopped taking a prescription medication in the past year due to financial restrictions.1 Adults under the age of 30 had the highest rate with 23% reporting they had stopped taking a medication due to their situation.1

Health care providers have long battled the concern over patients taking their medication as prescribed, to avoid any further health complications. As the pandemic creates a worsening employment status, providers are now faced with more patients either cutting back or stopping their medication altogether.

Providers have reported patients either afraid to leave their house to pick up medication at their pharmacy or falling behind in their annual check-ups as causes for the decline in adherence.

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Americans Looking For Ways to Save on Rx Cost

While not all Americans are simply skipping their medication, most people are looking for options or multiple options when it comes to affording their high prescription cost.

21% of respondents have used a prescription savings coupon1 like RxSaver to help them save, proving the importance of coupon options.

31% of respondents, however, took higher risk actions in the past six months which included either not filling their prescription, intentionally skipping a dosage, or splitting their medications.1 It’s critical to always work with your health care provider before skipping or splitting pills since certain medications can become ineffective or even harmful if not taken exactly as prescribed.


Phoenix Research. Public Insights Survey for RxSaver 2021 was conducted in the US among 1,000 nationally representative adults ages 18 and older. Fielded January 20-22, 2021.

Bre D’Alessio South

Bre D’Alessio South

Bre D’Alessio South is the content marketing manager and managing editor of RxSaver. Her writing focuses on health care, mental health, and gender rights. At RxSaver, she also serves as co-lead for the employee resource group caRe, which focuses on mental health and chronic health support in the workplace.

Holly Phillips, MD

Holly Phillips, MD

Dr. Holly Phillips, a Board-Certified General Internist in private practice, is a journalist, author, television contributor, and medical expert for RxSaver. Featured regularly across multiple media outlets, Dr. Phillips first gained nationwide recognition as a Medical Contributor to CBS News and “Core Member” of the Dr. Oz Show. Frequently quoted in print, she has been a contributing editor for Prevention, and appeared in feature articles for Vogue, Self, and others. Dr. Phillips is the author of the book, “The Exhaustion Breakthrough,” published by Rodale. Dr. Phillips obtained her medical degree from Columbia University College of Physicians and Surgeons and trained at Lenox Hill Hospital. In practice, she addresses all Internal Medicine Conditions with a focus on preventive women’s health. Dr. Phillips is well versed in the foundations of complementary and alternative medicine and views these ideas as integral to the practice of medicine today. She lives in Manhattan with her husband, two young daughters and Pug.

The information on this site is generalized and is not medical advice. It is intended to supplement, not substitute for, the expertise and judgment of your healthcare professional. Always seek the advice of your healthcare professional with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition. Never disregard seeking advice or delay in seeking treatment because of something you have read on our site. RxSaver makes no warranty as to the accuracy, reliability or completeness of this information.

If you are in crisis or you think you may have a medical emergency, call your doctor or 911 immediately.