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Health  2023 

Exploring Long COVID: Healthcare Utilization Up to 360 Days after a COVID-19 Diagnosis—Results from Analysis of a Very Large US National Sample

DOI: 10.4236/health.2023.152014, PP. 177-185

Keywords: COVID-19 Utilization, Long-COVID Utilization

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The topic of the long-term effects of COVID-19, so-called “long-COVID”, has gained increased attention. The US federal government announced plans to develop an interagency national research action plan to uncover more insights into the long-term effects of COVID-19. This study contributes to our understanding of the long-term effects of COVID-19 by quantifying patterns of healthcare utilization up to 360 days after an initial COVID-19 diagnosis occurring during the beginning of the pandemic (March-August 2020) in a very large nationally representative population of insured adults. We quantify actual COVID-19-related utilization (as opposed to reported symptoms) by accessing claims data to calculate average medical visits per patient per month by type of encounter (e.g. inpatient stay, physician visit). In contrast to many recent reports in the media, our results show that COVID-19-related utilization declines substantially after the first-month post-diagnosis and continues to decline throughout the study period to very low levels.


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