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Primary Care in ‘Office Setting’ Dips Slightly

by Bruce Japsen

PATIENTS WITH employer-based health coverage who use primary care increasingly are trying out locations and virtual settings outside of the traditional primary care office setting, according to the Employee Benefit Research Institute (EBRI).

As the COVID-19 pandemic began to hit in early 2020, Americans shifted to virtual care via tele- health, which is well known, but they also began a greater shift to urgent care clinics. This trend was made possible due to shifts in technology, but also given new locations of primary care that are springing up across the country.

“Among users of primary care, 95-97% utilized it in an office setting prior to 2020, but only 86% did so from 2020-2021 as employees began using tele- medicine (7-8%) and urgent care clinics (3-4%) with greater frequency due to the COVID-19 pandemic,” the research report, “Use of Primary Care Among Workers and Dependents with Employment-based Health Coverage: A Longitudinal Analysis,” published in November, said.

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