July 1, 2020

Time to ‘Check-In for a Check-Up’ with Hoosier Doctors

New campaign to get patients ‘back on track’ for better health

INDIANAPOLIS – The Indiana State Medical Association is stepping up to get Hoosiers “back on track” for better health with a new public service campaign. By encouraging patients to Check-In for a Check-Up, ISMA is reminding people about the importance of preventive medical care, even as the coronavirus pandemic continues.

“We are all doing our part to prevent the spread of COVID-19, but people also need to maintain their everyday health,” said Dr. Lisa Hatcher, MD, president of ISMA. “It’s just as important to continue screenings, well visits, vaccinations and monitoring for concerns that, without a check-up, could lead to catastrophic outcomes.”

In a national poll conducted by Public Opinion Strategies, 55% of Americans said they or someone in their household had missed, skipped or delayed a medical appointment since the COVID-19 outbreak began. Such delays could lead to higher numbers of heart attacks, strokes, seizures, cancer deaths, amputations and other medical problems that could be prevented.

ISMA is working to reverse this trend of delayed treatment in Indiana.

Visitors to HoosierDoctors.org can get helpful tips on seeking care, whether at a physician’s office, a hospital emergency room or through telehealth. They also can learn what doctors are doing to protect patients during in-person visits. Medical and office staff are wearing protective equipment, limiting wait times for patients, scheduling fewer back-to-back appointments, sanitizing surfaces more frequently and implementing other safety measures.

In addition to general fears of COVID-19, several factors have kept Hoosiers from seeking the care they need. Stay-at-home orders, loss of jobs and health insurance and the lack of safety gear for health care workers are just some of the reasons patients have stayed away.

Health Coverage for Hoosiers
While the total number of positive cases for COVID-19 has surpassed 40,000 in Indiana, more than 300,000 Hoosier families have lost employer-sponsored health insurance coverage.

“At a time when health insurance is so critical, Indiana has seen a spike in the number of uninsured. But help is out there for those who need it,” said Hatcher. “Health insurance is available so Hoosiers can get covered and continue their preventive and ongoing health care.”

ISMA recommends those newly uninsured reach out to the Indiana Family and Social Services Administration (FSSA) and nonprofit groups such as Covering Kids & Families of Indiana. Free, expert advice is available to help people get covered, as well as confirm if they are eligible for food and cash assistance.

Personal Protective Equipment
During preparations for the COVID-19 surge, doctor offices were asked to donate supplies of personal protective equipment (PPE) to frontline health care workers. But, after Indiana lifted restrictions on elective medical procedures on April 26, many doctors were unable to re-open to full operation due to a shortage of PPE.

ISMA recently launched a new program with several Indiana-based companies to provide medical offices with access to PPE so physicians can safely treat patients.

Back on Track
As the fight against COVID-19 continues, ISMA encourages Hoosiers to remain vigilant by wearing masks in public, maintaining at least six feet apart from others and washing hands often. But monitoring everyday health is just as important during the pandemic.

“Serious health issues such as heart failure, stroke or diabetes cannot simply wait for the coronavirus to run its course, and neither should you,” added Dr. Hatcher. “Please contact your physician and let them decide how to get you back on track for better health with safe and timely care. Hoosier doctors are here for you.”

ISMA encourages everyone to check in for a check-up with their physician. They can visit HoosierDoctors.org, download informational flyers and share the message with family and friends on Facebook and Twitter. More information will be added to the website in the coming months.

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About ISMA:
With 8,500 members, the Indiana State Medical Association (ISMA) is the largest physician organization in the state and is dedicated to maximizing physician impact. Learn more about ISMA by visiting ISMA's website or following ISMA on Twitter and Facebook.

Media Contact:
Steve Cooke
(317) 627-9955