Every community has been impacted by not only the COVID-19 pandemic itself, but also the pandemic’s effects on the economy and available resources. Rural and frontier environments across the country are not immune to these issues. The pandemic has exacerbated existing barriers to care for individuals with complex needs in these areas including physical distance, limited telephone or internet access, and sparse community resources.

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On April 17, the National Center for Complex Health and Social Needs held the third convening of our community forum series on the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on complex care. The conversation explored the ways in which this fragmented system is impeding care delivery for complex patients and identified near-term opportunities to address them including solutions that forum participants are finding on the ground to overcome them.

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On April 10, the National Center for Complex Health and Social Needs held a second community forum on unique issues facing complex care teams. Issues such as disruption of care delivery, staffing, and burnout were discussed. Once again, participants shared personal experiences and resources with their peers. The full list of resources is linked below. 

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The spread of COVID-19 in the United States and globally has made stark what we in the complex care field already knew: our fragmented care systems and frail safety net leave our most vulnerable community members at heightened risk, especially during times of national emergency. Individuals with complex health and social needs are particularly vulnerable to disruption of services and the social and economic fallout from social distancing measures across the country.

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