BILLINGS — During the height of the pandemic, RiverStone Health saw a large decrease in regular health screenings and check-ups. Now that the threat of COVID-19 is lessening, the public health department is struggling to keep up with an influx of patients returning for regular care.
Although tele-visits became more common, Dr. Megan Littlefield, the chief medical officer at RiverStone says, “There are simply some problems that you have to meet face to face to be able to diagnose and treat.”
According to Littlefield, the dental section of RiverStone has also seen a big increase in patients catching up on dental procedures and exams. Littlefield says because of increases in demand, RiverStone is doing its best to increase the number of people dentists can see.
In addition, visits for struggles with mental health have increased, she said.
“I think that not only did it exasperate issues for people who had known depression or anxiety, but certainly the stress of this pandemic has really made people realize that they may have mental health issues,” said Littlefield.
The key to getting ahead of this? “Come back in and re-establish with your providers,” says Littlefield.
Littlefield encourages anyone who is experiencing what they believe could be medical, dental, or mental health issues to reach out to their provider immediately.