Reduced Access to Care During COVID-19

Metadata Updated: March 9, 2021

The Research and Development Survey (RANDS) is a platform designed for conducting survey question evaluation and statistical research. RANDS is an ongoing series of surveys from probability-sampled commercial survey panels used for methodological research at the National Center for Health Statistics (NCHS). RANDS estimates were generated using an experimental approach that differs from the survey design approaches generally used by NCHS, including possible biases from different response patterns and increased variability from lower sample sizes. Use of the RANDS platform allowed NCHS to produce more timely data than would have been possible using our traditional data collection methods. RANDS is not designed to replace NCHS’ higher quality, core data collections. Below we provide experimental estimates of reduced access to healthcare for two rounds of RANDS during COVID-19. Data collection for the first round occurred between June 9, 2020 and July 6, 2020 and data collection for the second round occurred between August 3, 2020 and August 20, 2020. Information needed to interpret these estimates can be found in the Technical Notes.

NCHS included questions about unmet care during the coronavirus pandemic. Unmet needs for health care are often the result of cost-related barriers. The National Health Interview Survey (NHIS), conducted by NCHS, is the source for high-quality data to monitor cost-related health care access problems in the United States. For example, in 2018, 7.3% of persons of all ages reported delaying medical care due to cost and 4.8% reported needing medical care but not getting it due to cost in the past year. However, cost is not the only reason someone might delay or not receive needed medical care. As a result of the coronavirus pandemic, people also may not get needed medical care due to cancelled appointments, cutbacks in transportation options, fear of going to the emergency room, or an altruistic desire to not be a burden on the health care system, among other reasons.

The experimental estimates on this page are derived from RANDS and show the percentage of U.S. adults who were unable to receive medical care (including urgent care, surgery, screening tests, ongoing treatment, regular checkups, prescriptions, dental care, vision care and hearing care) in the last two months.

Technical Notes:

Access & Use Information

Public: This dataset is intended for public access and use. License: No license information was provided. If this work was prepared by an officer or employee of the United States government as part of that person's official duties it is considered a U.S. Government Work.

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Metadata Created Date November 12, 2020
Metadata Updated Date March 9, 2021

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Resource Type Dataset
Metadata Created Date November 12, 2020
Metadata Updated Date March 9, 2021
Publisher National Center for Health Statistics
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Data First Published 2020-10-07
Data Last Modified 2020-11-02
Category NCHS
Public Access Level public
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