BACKGROUND: The COVID-19 pandemic disrupted the U.S. healthcare system, reducing the capacity available for unrelated conditions, such as sleep disordered breathing, and increasing concerns about the safety of in-lab testing. This study characterizes how the pandemic impacted the assessment of sleep disordered breathing and use of associated services. METHODS: Sleep testing claims occurring between January 2019 and June 2021 were extracted from the database of a national healthcare organization. Utilization was trended. Logistic regressions were run to assess the association between quarter of initial testing, whether testing was followed by treatment, and whether testing was followed by a clinical visit with a diagnosis related to sleep apnea, after controlling for patient-related factors. A Cox proportional hazards model assessed factors influencing time to treatment. Finally, a logistic regression assessed factors influencing the finality of home-based testing. RESULTS: In Q2 2021, home-based testing utilization was 134% of its initial level, while in-lab and split night testing were both at 61% of initial levels. Patients receiving initial home-based testing did not significantly differ in their likelihood of treatment, but were significantly less likely to have a clinical visit for sleep apnea (P < 0.01). Patients initially tested in 2021 were treated significantly more quickly than those initially tested in Q1 2019. Home-based testing occurring in Q4 2019 or later was significantly more likely to be definitive than home-based testing occurring Q1 2019. CONCLUSIONS: Home-based sleep testing increased significantly and durably in 2020, and was associated with faster time to treatment than initial in-lab testing.
Subject(s)COVID-19 , Sleep Apnea Syndromes , Humans , Pandemics , Sleep , Sleep Apnea Syndromes/diagnosis , Sleep Apnea Syndromes/epidemiology , Sleep Apnea Syndromes/therapy , Polysomnography
Background: Patients with heart failure face increased morbidity and mortality when infected with COVID-19. The objective of this study was to evaluate the outcomes of patients with Heart Failure (HF), Left Ventricular Assist Devices (LVADs), or Heart Transplants (HTx) diagnosed with COVID-19 within an advanced HF practice. Methods: Out of 2635 patients followed, 96 patients were diagnosed with COVID-19 between March 2020 and January 2021. Median hospital length of stay (LOS), requirement for mechanical ventilation (MV), and mortality rate were evaluated. Results: The distribution of COVID-19 among the 96 patients was: HF = 43 (45 %), LVAD = 16 (17 %) and HTx = 37 (38 %). Among 43 HF patients, 5 (12 %) died, 18 (42 %) required hospitalization with an LOS of 7 days, 5 (12 %) required ICU and 4 (9 %) required MV. Of the 16 LVAD patients, 2 (13 %) died, 8 (50 %) required hospitalization with an LOS of 11 days, 3 (19 %) required ICU and 3 (19 %) required MV. Among 37 HTx patients, 7 (19 %) died, 23 (62 %) required hospitalization with an LOS of 9 days, 6 (16 %) required ICU and 6 (16 %) required MV. Conclusion: This report is among the first to describe the impact of COVID-19 on a diverse advanced HF practice. It highlights the risks associated with COVID-19 faced by the HF, LVAD and HTx patients. A 90-day mortality rate of 19 % with HTx patients acquiring COVID-19 is ominous as is a mortality rate of 12 % each for HF and LVAD patients. This clinical impact should serve as a reminder of unique challenges with these populations.