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Dig Dis Sci ; 67(1): 93-99, 2022 01.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1051364


BACKGROUND AND AIMS: The coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic resulted in a rapid expansion of telehealth services in hepatology. However, known racial and socioeconomic disparities in internet access potentially translate into barriers for the use of telehealth, particularly video technology. The specific aim of this study was to determine if disparities in race or socioeconomic status exist among patients utilizing telehealth visits during COVID-19. METHODS: We performed a retrospective cohort study of all adult patients evaluated in hepatology clinics at Duke University Health System. Visit attempts from a pre-COVID baseline period (January 1, 2020 through February 29, 2020; n = 3328) were compared to COVID period (April 1, 2020 through May 30, 2020; n = 3771). RESULTS: On multinomial regression modeling, increasing age was associated with higher odds of a phone or incomplete visit (canceled, no-show, or rescheduled after May 30,2020), and non-Hispanic Black race was associated with nearly twice the odds of completing a phone visit instead of video visit, compared to non-Hispanic White patients. Compared to private insurance, Medicaid and Medicare were associated with increased odds of completing a telephone visit, and Medicaid was associated with increased odds of incomplete visits. Being single or previously married (separated, divorced, widowed) was associated with increased odds of completing a phone compared to video visit compared to being married. CONCLUSIONS: Though liver telehealth has expanded during the COVID-19 pandemic, disparities in overall use and suboptimal use (phone versus video) remain for vulnerable populations including those that are older, non-Hispanic Black, or have Medicare/Medicaid health insurance.

COVID-19/economics , Healthcare Disparities/economics , Liver Diseases/economics , Racial Groups , Socioeconomic Factors , Telemedicine/economics , Aged , COVID-19/epidemiology , COVID-19/therapy , Cohort Studies , Female , Health Services Accessibility/economics , Health Services Accessibility/trends , Healthcare Disparities/trends , Humans , Insurance Claim Reporting/economics , Insurance Claim Reporting/trends , Liver Diseases/epidemiology , Liver Diseases/therapy , Male , Middle Aged , Patient Acceptance of Health Care , Retrospective Studies , Telemedicine/trends
J Am Med Inform Assoc ; 27(6): 957-962, 2020 06 01.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-88409


The novel coronavirus disease-19 (COVID-19) pandemic has altered our economy, society, and healthcare system. While this crisis has presented the U.S. healthcare delivery system with unprecedented challenges, the pandemic has catalyzed rapid adoption of telehealth, or the entire spectrum of activities used to deliver care at a distance. Using examples reported by U.S. healthcare organizations, including ours, we describe the role that telehealth has played in transforming healthcare delivery during the 3 phases of the U.S. COVID-19 pandemic: (1) stay-at-home outpatient care, (2) initial COVID-19 hospital surge, and (3) postpandemic recovery. Within each of these 3 phases, we examine how people, process, and technology work together to support a successful telehealth transformation. Whether healthcare enterprises are ready or not, the new reality is that virtual care has arrived.

Betacoronavirus , Coronavirus Infections/therapy , Delivery of Health Care/methods , Pandemics , Patient Care/methods , Pneumonia, Viral/therapy , Telemedicine , Ambulatory Care/methods , COVID-19 , Communicable Disease Control/methods , Coronavirus Infections/epidemiology , Humans , Pneumonia, Viral/epidemiology , Quarantine , SARS-CoV-2 , United States/epidemiology