As COVID-19 Cases Spike, Fewer Americans Are Seeking Regular Care

The Beryl Institute-Ipsos PX Pulse Dives into Racial Quality of Care Disparities and Finds That More Than Half of Black Americans and One-Third of Hispanic/Latino Americans Believe White Americans Receive Higher Quality Care

The author(s)
  • Omar Pedraza Director, US, Public Affairs
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NEW YORK, NY - Monday, July 27, 2020, The Beryl Institute and Ipsos released its findings from the third PX Pulse, a quarterly tracking survey and a first of its kind effort to elevate understanding and track current perspectives on patient experience in healthcare across the United States. Today’s survey reveals a 26-percentage point drop in the number of Americans reporting a visit to their primary care provider compared to the end of 2019. It also shows significant decreases in the number of Americans visiting a specialist (-18%) or undergoing medical testing (-21%) compared to pre-pandemic levels.  While consumers continue to engage in less healthcare activities this quarter compared to last quarter, they remain positive about the overall quality of care they receive in the U.S.

“The results are clear - as the COVID-19 pandemic continues across the country, Americans are forgoing regular medical care at a significant rate,” said Clifford Young, President of Public Affairs for Ipsos. “Fewer Americans are visiting their primary care doctors, they’re not undergoing medical testing, and fewer of us are seeing specialists. While Americans are largely satisfied with the quality of care, the decline in the number of Americans seeking medical care could have significant ramifications down the line.”

In addition to feeling positive about the quality of care, consumers are saying they feel ‘extremely’, ‘very’, or ‘somewhat’ comfortable seeking healthcare services, especially from their primary care provider, specialist, or lab for medical tests. There is less comfort for consumers seeking care at a hospital, the emergency room, or urgent care center, and the level of comfort with care received ranges drastically depending upon race. When rating the quality of care, Black Americans and Hispanic/Latino Americans believe White Americans receive a disproportionately higher quality of care (58% and 37%, respectively).

“The PX Pulse has continued to provide a comprehensive look at consumers view on healthcare, reinforcing the experience they are provided – the safety and quality offered and accessibility and comfort they seek – must remain a top priority for the healthcare sector,” said Jason Wolf, PhD, CPXP, President & CEO of The Beryl Institute. “As we reflect on the first half of 2020, two clear issues emerge around the dual crises in which we find ourselves: first, consumers are forgoing healthcare visits due to fear of exposure to COVID-19 and expressing lower levels of comfort in seeking care in hospitals and urgent care specifically, and second, the elevated conversations on systemic racism and disparities in healthcare in particular reveal a large subset of the American population feels they are not receiving the same quality of care as their White counterparts.”

Key Findings

  • Consumers continue to report fewer visits to primary care providers (-17%), hospitals (-3%), labs (-7%), and specialist providers (-5%) compared to last quarter.
  • Similar to the past two quarters, cost remains the most important healthcare issue to consumers. The top 3 issues include out-of-pocket costs, health insurance premiums, and having affordable insurance options.
  • Over half of the consumers reported feeling “extremely comfortable” or “very comfortable” visiting their primary care provider or specialist provider during the pandemic, while over half we either somewhat or not comfortable at all with visiting hospitals or urgent care facilities.
  • A majority of consumers indicated that their doctor provides access to an online portal or app that they can use to access their health information (62%), while they are only sometimes and mostly never used in most cases.
  • White consumers are most likely to believe that White people receive care “as expected” (78%). Only 20% of White consumers believe White people receive “better” or “much better” care compared to other groups of people, while Black consumers believe 58% White people receive “better” or “much better” care compared to other groups of people
  • Conversely, 45% of Black consumers believe Black people receive “worse” or “much worse” care.
  • Over one-third of Black consumers (35%) report personally experiencing discrimination in their healthcare encounters either “sometimes” or “often”.
  • Despite the lower engagement in healthcare activities reported since the start of the year, a majority of consumers remain positive about overall healthcare quality (58%) and their own care experiences (74%).


The Beryl Institute – Ipsos PX Pulse represents a first of its kind effort to elevate understanding of the current perspectives on patient experience in U.S. healthcare.

This effort will regularly capture healthcare consumer perspectives of patient experience in the United States, determine the practices and processes that have the greatest impact and influence on healthcare consumers, and track how the market sees patient experience evolving over time. More information about the core questions that will be tracked each quarter is attached.


The Beryl Institute is the global community of practice committed to elevating the human experience in healthcare. We believe human experience is grounded in experiences of patients & families, those who work in healthcare and the communities they serve. We define the patient experience as the sum of all interactions, shaped by an organization’s culture, that influence patient perceptions across the continuum of care.

Link to download full PX Pulse publication

For more information on this news release, please contact:

Omar Pedraza,
Director, Public Affairs, U.S
[email protected]

About Ipsos

Ipsos is now the third largest market research company in the world, present in 90 markets and employing more than 18,000 people.

Our research professionals, analysts and scientists have built unique multi-specialist capabilities that provide powerful insights into the actions, opinions and motivations of citizens, consumers, patients, customers or employees. Our 75 business solutions are based on primary data coming from our surveys, social media monitoring, and qualitative or observational techniques.

“Game Changers” – our tagline – summarizes our ambition to help our 5,000 clients to navigate more easily our deeply changing world.

Founded in France in 1975, Ipsos is listed on the Euronext Paris since July 1st, 1999. The company is part of the SBF 120 and the Mid-60 index and is eligible for the Deferred Settlement Service (SRD).

ISIN code FR0000073298, Reuters ISOS.PA, Bloomberg IPS:FP

The publication of these findings abides by local rules and regulations.

The author(s)
  • Omar Pedraza Director, US, Public Affairs