LINCOLN, Neb. (KOLN) – Doctors in Lincoln say the pandemic has made people more health conscious.
Dr. Jake Schlemmer works at the CHI Health Internal Medicine Clinic in Lincoln and said hearing how illnesses, like diabetes, increases the risk of severe outcomes from COVID-19 contributed to the increase wellness visits.
“A lot of things in the pandemic have made chronic conditions worse, people haven’t been to see their doctors because of fear,” Dr. Schlemmer said, “Maybe they have been sick or in the hospital for a period of time.”
CHI Health said during 2018 and 2019, they had a total of 12,902 wellness visits. In 2020 and 2021, that number increased to 19,653 visits.
“We don’t want people to lose sight of their long-term health. It’s really easy for us to get caught up in the here and now and trying to make it through this time,” Dr. Schlemmer said, “But really there are a lot of issues that need to be addressed right now that could make a difference 10 or 20-years from now in people’s health.”
Dr. Schlemmer said the winter months are busy in clinics, especially with the pandemic. While wellness exams are increasing, primary care doctors are still seeing patients who are sick with COVID-19, the flu and other respiratory illnesses.
He said he expects to see an increase in sick visits during the current COVID-19 surge, but the clinic will be able to give quality care to all their patients without feeling overwhelmed.
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