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1.
JAMA Health Forum ; 3(10): e223764, 2022 Oct 07.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-2084932

ABSTRACT

This survey study uses 2020 American Hospital Association data to assess strategies of US hospitals serving vulnerable populations in addressing social needs during the COVID-19 pandemic.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , Humans , COVID-19/epidemiology , Pandemics , Hospitals , Needs Assessment
2.
Surg Endosc ; 2022 Sep 27.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-2048281

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND: During the COVID-19 pandemic, deferral of inpatient elective surgical procedures served as a primary mechanism to increase surge inpatient capacity. Given the benefit of bariatric surgery on treating obesity and associated comorbidities, decreased access to bariatric surgery may have long-term public health consequences. Understanding the extent of the disruption of the COVID-19 pandemic to bariatric surgery will help health systems plan for appropriate access. MATERIALS AND METHODS: This is an observational cohort study using the PINC AI Healthcare Database from 1/1/2019-6/31/2021. A Poisson regression model with patient characteristics and hospital-fixed effects was used to assess the relative monthly within-hospital reduction in surgical encounters, variations by race and ethnicity, and shift from inpatient to outpatient procedures. A multivariate linear probability model was used to assess the change in 30-day readmissions from 2020 and 2021 compared to 2019. RESULTS: Among 309 hospitals, there were 46,539 bariatric procedures conducted in 2019 with a 14.8% reduction in volume to 39,641 procedures in 2020. There were 22,642 bariatric procedures observed from January to June of 2021. The most pronounced decrease in volume occurred in April with an 89.7% relative reduction from 2019. Black and Hispanic patients were more likely to receive bariatric surgery after the height of the pandemic compared to white patients. A clinically significant shift from inpatient to outpatient bariatric surgical procedures was not observed. Relative to 2019, there were no significant differences in bariatric surgical readmission rates. CONCLUSION: During the pandemic there was a sizable decrease in bariatric surgical volume. There did not appear to be disparities in access to bariatric surgery for minority patients. We did not observe a meaningful shift toward outpatient bariatric surgical procedures. Post-pandemic, monitoring is needed to assess if hospitals have been able to meet the demand for bariatric surgical procedures.

3.
JAMA ; 328(10): 941-950, 2022 09 13.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-2047346

ABSTRACT

Importance: During the COVID-19 pandemic, the US federal government required that skilled nursing facilities (SNFs) close to visitors and eliminate communal activities. Although these policies were intended to protect residents, they may have had unintended negative effects. Objective: To assess health outcomes among SNFs with and without known COVID-19 cases. Design, Setting, and Participants: This retrospective observational study used US Medicare claims and Minimum Data Set 3.0 for January through November in each year beginning in 2018 and ending in 2020 including 15 477 US SNFs with 2 985 864 resident-years. Exposures: January through November of calendar years 2018, 2019, and 2020. COVID-19 diagnoses were used to assign SNFs into 2 mutually exclusive groups with varying membership by month in 2020: active COVID-19 (≥1 COVID-19 diagnosis in the current or past month) or no-known COVID-19 (no observed diagnosis by that month). Main Outcomes and Measures: Monthly rates of mortality, hospitalization, emergency department (ED) visits, and monthly changes in activities of daily living (ADLs), body weight, and depressive symptoms. Each SNF in 2018 and 2019 served as its own control for 2020. Results: In 2018-2019, mean monthly mortality was 2.2%, hospitalization 3.0%, and ED visit rate 2.9% overall. In 2020, among active COVID-19 SNFs compared with their own 2018-2019 baseline, mortality increased by 1.60% (95% CI, 1.58% to 1.62%), hospitalizations decreased by 0.10% (95% CI, -0.12% to -0.09%), and ED visit rates decreased by 0.57% (95% CI, -0.59% to -0.55%). Among no-known COVID-19 SNFs, mortality decreased by 0.15% (95% CI, -0.16% to -0.13%), hospitalizations by 0.83% (95% CI, -0.85% to -0.81%), and ED visits by 0.79% (95% CI, -0.81% to -0.77%). All changes were statistically significant. In 2018-2019, across all SNFs, residents required assistance with an additional 0.89 ADLs between January and November, and lost 1.9 lb; 27.1% had worsened depressive symptoms. In 2020, residents in active COVID-19 SNFs required assistance with an additional 0.36 ADLs (95% CI, 0.34 to 0.38), lost 3.1 lb (95% CI, -3.2 to -3.0 lb) more weight, and were 4.4% (95% CI, 4.1% to 4.7%) more likely to have worsened depressive symptoms, all statistically significant changes. In 2020, residents in no-known COVID-19 SNFs had no significant change in ADLs (-0.06 [95% CI, -0.12 to 0.01]), but lost 1.8 lb (95% CI, -2.1 to -1.5 lb) more weight and were 3.2% more likely (95% CI, 2.3% to 4.1%) to have worsened depressive symptoms, both statistically significant changes. Conclusions and Relevance: Among skilled nursing facilities in the US during the first year of the COVID-19 pandemic and prior to the availability of COVID-19 vaccination, mortality and functional decline significantly increased at facilities with active COVID-19 cases compared with the prepandemic period, while a modest statistically significant decrease in mortality was observed at facilities that had never had a known COVID-19 case. Weight loss and depressive symptoms significantly increased in skilled nursing facilities in the first year of the pandemic, regardless of COVID-19 status.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , Health Status , Skilled Nursing Facilities , Activities of Daily Living , Aged , COVID-19/diagnosis , COVID-19/epidemiology , COVID-19/prevention & control , COVID-19 Testing , COVID-19 Vaccines , Environmental Exposure/statistics & numerical data , Health Policy , Humans , Medicare/statistics & numerical data , Pandemics/statistics & numerical data , Quality of Life , Retrospective Studies , Skilled Nursing Facilities/statistics & numerical data , United States/epidemiology
4.
JAMA Netw Open ; 5(8): e2229067, 2022 08 01.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-2007076

ABSTRACT

Importance: Home hospital care is the substitutive provision of home-based acute care services usually associated with a traditional inpatient hospital. Many home hospital models require a physician to see patients at home daily, which may hinder scalability. Whether remote physician visits can safely substitute for most in-home visits is unknown. Objective: To compare remote and in-home physician care. Design, Setting, and Participants: This randomized clinical trial assessed 172 adult patients at an academic medical center and community hospital who required hospital-level care for select acute conditions, including infection, heart failure, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, and asthma, between August 3, 2019, and March 26, 2020; follow-up ended April 26, 2020. Interventions: All patients received acute care at home, including in-home nurse or paramedic visits, intravenous medications, remote monitoring, and point-of-care testing. Patients were randomized to receive physician care remotely (initial in-home visit followed by daily video visit facilitated by the home hospital nurse) vs in-home care (daily in-home physician visit). In the remote care group, the physician could choose to see the patient at home beyond the first visit if it was felt to be medically necessary. Main Outcomes and Measures: The primary outcome was the number of adverse events, compared using multivariable Poisson regression at a noninferiority threshold of 10 events per 100 patients. Adverse events included a fall, pressure injury, and delirium. Secondary outcomes included the Picker Patient Experience Questionnaire 15 score (scale of 0-15, with 0 indicating worst patient experience and 15 indicating best patient experience) and 30-day readmission rates. Results: A total of 172 patients (84 receiving remote care and 88 receiving in-home physician care [control group]) were randomized; enrollment was terminated early because of COVID-19. The mean (SD) age was 69.3 (18.0) years, 97 patients (56.4%) were female, 77 (45.0%) were White, and 42 (24.4%) lived alone. Mean adjusted adverse event count was 6.8 per 100 patients for remote care patients vs 3.9 per 100 patients for control patients, for a difference of 2.8 (95% CI, -3.3 to 8.9), supporting noninferiority. For remote care vs control patients, the mean adjusted Picker Patient Experience Questionnaire 15 score difference was -0.22 (95% CI, -1.00 to 0.56), supporting noninferiority. The mean adjusted 30-day readmission absolute rate difference was 2.28% (95% CI, -3.23% to 7.79%), which was inconclusive. Of patients in the remote group, 16 (19.0%) required in-home visits beyond the first visit. Conclusions and Relevance: In this study, remote physician visits were noninferior to in-home physician visits during home hospital care for adverse events and patient experience, although in-home physician care was necessary to support many patients receiving remote care. Our findings may allow for a more efficient, scalable home hospital approach but require further research. Trial Registration: ClinicalTrials.gov Identifier: NCT04080570.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , Home Care Services , Physicians , Adult , Aged , COVID-19/epidemiology , Female , Hospitals, Community , Humans , Male , Patient Readmission
5.
JAMA Netw Open ; 5(8): e2226531, 2022 08 01.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1990382

ABSTRACT

Importance: Little is known about changes in obstetric outcomes during the COVID-19 pandemic. Objective: To assess whether obstetric outcomes and pregnancy-related complications changed during the COVID-19 pandemic. Design, Setting, and Participants: This retrospective cohort study included pregnant patients receiving care at 463 US hospitals whose information appeared in the PINC AI Healthcare Database. The relative differences in birth outcomes, pregnancy-related complications, and length of stay (LOS) during the pandemic period (March 1, 2020, to April 31, 2021) were compared with the prepandemic period (January 1, 2019, to February 28, 2020) using logistic and Poisson models, adjusting for patients' characteristics, and comorbidities and with month and hospital fixed effects. Exposures: COVID-19 pandemic period. Main Outcomes and Measures: The 3 primary outcomes were the relative change in preterm vs term births, mortality outcomes, and mode of delivery. Secondary outcomes included the relative change in pregnancy-related complications and LOS. Results: There were 849 544 and 805 324 pregnant patients in the prepandemic and COVID-19 pandemic periods, respectively, and there were no significant differences in patient characteristics between periods, including age (≥35 years: 153 606 [18.1%] vs 148 274 [18.4%]), race and ethnicity (eg, Hispanic patients: 145 475 [47.1%] vs 143 905 [17.9%]; White patients: 456 014 [53.7%] vs 433 668 [53.9%]), insurance type (Medicaid: 366 233 [43.1%] vs 346 331 [43.0%]), and comorbidities (all standardized mean differences <0.10). There was a 5.2% decrease in live births during the pandemic. Maternal death during delivery hospitalization increased from 5.17 to 8.69 deaths per 100 000 pregnant patients (odds ratio [OR], 1.75; 95% CI, 1.19-2.58). There were minimal changes in mode of delivery (vaginal: OR, 1.01; 95% CI, 0.996-1.02; primary cesarean: OR, 1.02; 95% CI, 1.01-1.04; vaginal birth after cesarean: OR, 0.98; 95% CI, 0.95-1.00; repeated cesarean: OR, 0.96; 95% CI, 0.95-0.97). LOS during delivery hospitalization decreased by 7% (rate ratio, 0.931; 95% CI, 0.928-0.933). Lastly, the adjusted odds of gestational hypertension (OR, 1.08; 95% CI, 1.06-1.11), obstetric hemorrhage (OR, 1.07; 95% CI, 1.04-1.10), preeclampsia (OR, 1.04; 95% CI, 1.02-1.06), and preexisting chronic hypertension (OR, 1.06; 95% CI, 1.03-1.09) increased. No significant changes in preexisting racial and ethnic disparities were observed. Conclusions and Relevance: During the COVID-19 pandemic, there were increased odds of maternal death during delivery hospitalization, cardiovascular disorders, and obstetric hemorrhage. Further efforts are needed to ensure risks potentially associated with the COVID-19 pandemic do not persist beyond the current state of the pandemic.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , Maternal Death , Pregnancy Complications , Adult , COVID-19/epidemiology , Female , Humans , Infant, Newborn , Pandemics , Pregnancy , Pregnancy Complications/epidemiology , Retrospective Studies , Term Birth , United States/epidemiology
7.
J Gen Intern Med ; 37(11): 2795-2802, 2022 08.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1797534

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND: While the impact of the COVID-19 recession on the economy is clear, there is limited evidence on how the COVID-19 pandemic-related job losses among low-income people may have affected their access to health care. OBJECTIVE: To determine the association of job loss during the pandemic with insurance coverage and access to and affordability of health care among low-income adults. DESIGN: Using a random digit dialing telephone survey from October 2020 to December 2020 of low-income adults in 4 states-Arkansas, Kentucky, Louisiana, and Texas-we conducted a series of multivariable logistic regression analyses, adjusting for demographics, chronic conditions, and state of residence. PARTICIPANTS: US citizens aged 19-64 with a family income less than 138% of the federal poverty line who became newly unemployed during pandemic, remained employed during pandemic, or were chronically unemployed before and during the pandemic. MAIN MEASURES: Rates of insurance, type of insurance coverage, measures of access to/affordability of care, and food/housing security KEY RESULTS: Of 1,794 respondents, 14.5% were newly unemployed, 49.6% were chronically unemployed, and 35.7% were employed. The newly unemployed were slightly younger and more likely Black or Latino. The newly unemployed were more likely to report uninsurance compared to the employed (+16.4 percentage points, 95% CI 6.0-26.9), and the chronically unemployed (+26.4 percentage points, 95% CI 16.2-36.6), mostly driven by Texas' populations. The newly unemployed also reported lower rates of access to care and higher rates of financial barriers to care. They were also more likely to report food and housing insecurity compared to others. CONCLUSIONS: In a survey of 4 Southern States during pandemic, the newly unemployed had higher rates of uninsurance and worse access to care-largely due to financial barriers-and reported more housing and food insecurity than other groups. Our study highlights the vulnerability of low-income populations who experienced a job loss, especially in Texas, which did not expand Medicaid.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act , Adult , COVID-19/epidemiology , Employment , Health Services Accessibility , Humans , Insurance Coverage , Medicaid , Pandemics , Poverty , United States/epidemiology
9.
Health Aff (Millwood) ; 41(3): 390-397, 2022 03.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1742025

ABSTRACT

The Affordable Care Act (ACA) Marketplace plays a critical role in providing affordable health insurance for the nongroup market, yet the accessibility of plans from insurers with high quality ratings has not been investigated. Our analysis of recently released insurer quality star ratings for plan year 2020 found substantial variation in access to high rated plans in the federally facilitated ACA Marketplace. In most participating counties (1,390 of 2,265, or 61.4 percent), the highest-rated ACA Marketplace insurer had a three-star rating. Fewer than one-third of counties (703, or 31.0 percent) had access to four- or five-star-rated insurers. Fewer than 10 percent (172, or 7.6 percent) had access to only one- or two-star-rated insurers. In plan-based analyses, each one-point increase in star rating was associated with a $28 increase in the average monthly plan premium. Counties with the highest proportion of residents obtaining individual coverage through the ACA Marketplace and counties with more insurers were the most likely to have access to plans from high-rated insurers. We found no systematic racial or ethnic disparities in access to plans from high-rated insurers. Policy makers should continue to monitor the quality of available health plans.


Subject(s)
Health Insurance Exchanges , Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act , Humans , Insurance Carriers , Insurance Coverage , Insurance, Health , United States
10.
JAMA health forum ; 2(12), 2021.
Article in English | EuropePMC | ID: covidwho-1679215

ABSTRACT

Key Points Question To what extent did the COVID-19 pandemic reduce access to surgical care, and were racial and ethnic minority groups more likely to have reduced access to surgical care? Findings In this cohort study of more than 13 million inpatient and outpatient surgical encounters in 767 US hospitals in a hospital administrative database, surgical use was 13% lower in 2020 compared with 2019, with the greatest decrease concentrated in elective surgical procedures. While Black and Hispanic patients experienced a reduction in surgical encounters, White patients experienced the greatest reduction in surgical encounters. Meaning Despite severe and persistent disruptions to health systems during the COVID-19 pandemic, racial and ethnic minority groups did not experience a disproportionate decrease in access to surgical care. Importance The extent of the disruption to surgical care during the COVID-19 pandemic has not been empirically characterized on a national level. Objective To characterize the use of surgical care across cohorts of surgical urgency during the COVID-19 pandemic, and to assess for racial and ethnic disparities. Design, Setting, and Participants This was a retrospective observational study using the geographically diverse, all payer data from 767 hospitals in the Premier Healthcare Database. Procedures were categorized into 4 cohorts of surgical urgency (elective, nonelective, emergency, and trauma). A generalized linear regression model with hospital-fixed effects assessed the relative monthly within-hospital reduction in surgical encounters in 2020 compared with 2019. Main Outcomes and Measures Outcomes were the monthly relative reduction in overall surgical encounters and across surgical urgency cohorts and race and ethnicity. Results The sample included 13 175 087 inpatient and outpatient surgical encounters. There was a 12.6% relative reduction in surgical use in 2020 compared to 2019. Across all surgical cohorts, the most prominent decreases in encounters occurred during Spring 2020 . For example, elective encounters began falling in March, reached a trough in April, and subsequently recovered but never to prepandemic levels (March: −26.8%;95% CI, −29.6% to −23.9%;April: −74.6%;95% CI, −75.5% to −73.5%;December: −13.3%;95% CI, −16.6%, −9.8%). Across all operative surgical urgency cohorts, White patients had the largest relative reduction in encounters. Conclusions and Relevance As shown by this cohort study, the COVID-19 pandemic resulted in large disruptions to surgical care across all categories of operative urgency, especially elective procedures. Racial and ethnic minority groups experienced less of a disruption to surgical care than White patients. Further research is needed to explore whether the decreased surgical use among White patients was owing to patient discretion and to document whether demand for surgical care will rebound to baseline levels. This cohort study examines the use of surgical care across cohorts of surgical urgency during the COVID-19 pandemic and assesses whether there are racial or ethnic disparities in care.

11.
JAMA health forum ; 2(8), 2021.
Article in English | EuropePMC | ID: covidwho-1678803

ABSTRACT

Key Points Question How did the COVID-19 pandemic and its associated economic recession affect insurance coverage, disparities in access to health care, and affordability of care among low-income families, and did this pattern vary by Medicaid expansion status? Findings In this survey study of US adults, uninsured rates rose among low-income adults in 4 Southern states (Arkansas, Kentucky, Louisiana, and Texas) during the COVID-19 pandemic, but in states with Medicaid expansion, uninsured rate increases were more moderate among Black and Latinx individuals. Nonfinancial barriers to care because of the pandemic were common in all states. Meaning These findings suggest that the COVID-19 pandemic affected insurance coverage and the ability of low-income people to access health care, but it appears that the presence of Medicaid expansion was protective for Black and Latinx individuals. Importance It is unclear how the COVID-19 pandemic and its associated economic downturn have affected insurance coverage and disparities in access to health care among low-income families and people of color in states that have and have not expanded Medicaid. Objective To determine changes in insurance coverage and disparities in access to health care among low-income families and people of color across 4 Southern states and by Medicaid expansion status. Design, Setting, and Participants This random-digit dialing telephone survey study of US citizens ages 19 to 64 years with a family income less than 138% of the federal poverty line in in 4 states (Arkansas, Kentucky, Louisiana, and Texas) was conducted from October to December 2020. Using a difference-in-differences design, we estimated changes in outcomes by Medicaid expansion status overall and by race and ethnicity in 2020 (n = 1804) compared with 2018 to 2019 (n = 5710). We also explored barriers to health care and use of telehealth by race and ethnicity. Data analysis was conducted from January 2021 to March 2021. Exposures COVID-19 pandemic and prior Medicaid expansion status. Main Outcomes and Measures Primary outcome was the uninsured rate and secondary outcomes were financial and nonfinancial barriers to health care access. Results Of 7514 respondents (11% response rate;3889 White non-Latinx [51.8%], 1881 Black non-Latinx [25.0%], and 1156 Latinx individuals [15.4%];4161 women [55.4%]), 5815 (77.4%) were in the states with previous expansion and 1699 (22.6%) were in Texas (nonexpansion state). Respondents in the expansion states were older, more likely White, and less likely to have attended college compared with respondents in Texas. Uninsurance rate in 2020 rose by 7.4 percentage points in Texas (95% CI, 2.2-12.6;P = .01) and 2.5 percentage points in expansion states (95% CI, −1.9 to 7.0;P = .27), with a difference-in-differences estimate for Medicaid expansion of −4.9% (95% CI, −11.3 to 1.6;P = .14). Among Black and Latinx individuals, Medicaid expansion was associated with protection against a rise in the uninsured rate (difference-in-differences, −9.5%;95% CI, −19.0 to −0.1;P = .048). Measures of access, including having a personal physician and regular care for chronic conditions, worsened significantly in 2020 in all 4 states, with no significant difference by Medicaid expansion status. Conclusions and Relevance In this survey of US adults, uninsured rates increased among low-income adults in 4 Southern states during the COVID-19 pandemic, but Medicaid expansion states, that association was diminished among Black and Latinx individuals. Nonfinancial barriers to care because of the pandemic were common in all states. This survey study examines changes in insurance coverage and disparities in access to health care among low-income families and people of color across 4 southern states and by Medicaid expansion status before and during the COVID-19 pandemic.

12.
JAMA Health Forum ; 2(12): e214214, 2021 12.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1598802

ABSTRACT

Importance: The extent of the disruption to surgical care during the COVID-19 pandemic has not been empirically characterized on a national level. Objective: To characterize the use of surgical care across cohorts of surgical urgency during the COVID-19 pandemic, and to assess for racial and ethnic disparities. Design Setting and Participants: This was a retrospective observational study using the geographically diverse, all payer data from 767 hospitals in the Premier Healthcare Database. Procedures were categorized into 4 cohorts of surgical urgency (elective, nonelective, emergency, and trauma). A generalized linear regression model with hospital-fixed effects assessed the relative monthly within-hospital reduction in surgical encounters in 2020 compared with 2019. Main Outcomes and Measures: Outcomes were the monthly relative reduction in overall surgical encounters and across surgical urgency cohorts and race and ethnicity. Results: The sample included 13 175 087 inpatient and outpatient surgical encounters. There was a 12.6% relative reduction in surgical use in 2020 compared to 2019. Across all surgical cohorts, the most prominent decreases in encounters occurred during Spring 2020 . For example, elective encounters began falling in March, reached a trough in April, and subsequently recovered but never to prepandemic levels (March: -26.8%; 95% CI, -29.6% to -23.9%; April: -74.6%; 95% CI, -75.5% to -73.5%; December: -13.3%; 95% CI, -16.6%, -9.8%). Across all operative surgical urgency cohorts, White patients had the largest relative reduction in encounters. Conclusions and Relevance: As shown by this cohort study, the COVID-19 pandemic resulted in large disruptions to surgical care across all categories of operative urgency, especially elective procedures. Racial and ethnic minority groups experienced less of a disruption to surgical care than White patients. Further research is needed to explore whether the decreased surgical use among White patients was owing to patient discretion and to document whether demand for surgical care will rebound to baseline levels.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , COVID-19/epidemiology , Cohort Studies , Ethnicity , Humans , Minority Groups , Pandemics , SARS-CoV-2
13.
Healthc (Amst) ; 10(1): 100611, 2022 Mar.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1587711

ABSTRACT

The COVID-19 pandemic has placed unprecedented stress on US acute care hospitals, leading to overburdened ICUs. It remains unknown if increased COVID-19 ICU occupancy is crowding out non-COVID-related care and whether hospitals in vulnerable communities may be more susceptible to ICUs reaching capacity. Using facility-level hospitalization data, we conducted a retrospective observational cohort study of 1753 US acute care hospitals reporting to the US Department of Health and Human Services Protect database from September 4, 2020 to February 25, 2021. 63% of hospitals reached critical ICU capacity for at least two weeks during the study period, and the surge of COVID-19 cases appeared to be crowding out non-COVID-19-related intensive care needs. Hospitals in the South (OR = 3.31, 95% CI OR 2.31-4.78) and West (OR = 2.28, 95% CI OR 1.51-3.46) were more likely to reach critical capacity than those in the Northeast, and hospitals in areas with the highest social vulnerability were more than twice as likely to reach capacity as those in the least vulnerable areas (OR = 2.15, 95% CI OR 1.41-3.29). The association between social vulnerability and critical ICU capacity highlights underlying structural inequities in health care access and provides an opportunity for policymakers to take action to prevent strained ICU capacity from compounding COVID-19 inequities.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , Hospitals , Humans , Intensive Care Units , Pandemics/prevention & control , Retrospective Studies , SARS-CoV-2 , 34658
14.
JAMA Health Forum ; 2(8): e212007, 2021 08.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1453490

ABSTRACT

Importance: It is unclear how the COVID-19 pandemic and its associated economic downturn have affected insurance coverage and disparities in access to health care among low-income families and people of color in states that have and have not expanded Medicaid. Objective: To determine changes in insurance coverage and disparities in access to health care among low-income families and people of color across 4 Southern states and by Medicaid expansion status. Design Setting and Participants: This random-digit dialing telephone survey study of US citizens ages 19 to 64 years with a family income less than 138% of the federal poverty line in in 4 states (Arkansas, Kentucky, Louisiana, and Texas) was conducted from October to December 2020. Using a difference-in-differences design, we estimated changes in outcomes by Medicaid expansion status overall and by race and ethnicity in 2020 (n = 1804) compared with 2018 to 2019 (n = 5710). We also explored barriers to health care and use of telehealth by race and ethnicity. Data analysis was conducted from January 2021 to March 2021. Exposures: COVID-19 pandemic and prior Medicaid expansion status. Main Outcomes and Measures: Primary outcome was the uninsured rate and secondary outcomes were financial and nonfinancial barriers to health care access. Results: Of 7514 respondents (11% response rate; 3889 White non-Latinx [51.8%], 1881 Black non-Latinx [25.0%], and 1156 Latinx individuals [15.4%]; 4161 women [55.4%]), 5815 (77.4%) were in the states with previous expansion and 1699 (22.6%) were in Texas (nonexpansion state). Respondents in the expansion states were older, more likely White, and less likely to have attended college compared with respondents in Texas. Uninsurance rate in 2020 rose by 7.4 percentage points in Texas (95% CI, 2.2-12.6; P = .01) and 2.5 percentage points in expansion states (95% CI, -1.9 to 7.0; P = .27), with a difference-in-differences estimate for Medicaid expansion of -4.9% (95% CI, -11.3 to 1.6; P = .14). Among Black and Latinx individuals, Medicaid expansion was associated with protection against a rise in the uninsured rate (difference-in-differences, -9.5%; 95% CI, -19.0 to -0.1; P = .048). Measures of access, including having a personal physician and regular care for chronic conditions, worsened significantly in 2020 in all 4 states, with no significant difference by Medicaid expansion status. Conclusions and Relevance: In this survey of US adults, uninsured rates increased among low-income adults in 4 Southern states during the COVID-19 pandemic, but Medicaid expansion states, that association was diminished among Black and Latinx individuals. Nonfinancial barriers to care because of the pandemic were common in all states.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act , Adult , COVID-19/epidemiology , Female , Health Services Accessibility , Humans , Insurance Coverage , Middle Aged , Pandemics , Poverty , United States/epidemiology , Young Adult
15.
Healthc (Amst) ; 9(4): 100583, 2021 Dec.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1415422

ABSTRACT

The COVID-19 pandemic has disproportionately impacted Americans in socially vulnerable areas. Unfortunately, these groups are also experiencing lower vaccination rates. To understand how strategic vaccine site placement may benefit high vulnerability populations, we extracted vaccine site locations for 26 U.S. states and linked these data to county-level adult vaccination rates and the CDC 2018 Social Vulnerability Index rankings. We fit quasi-Poisson regression models to compare vaccine site density between the highest and lowest SVI domain quartiles, and assessed whether greater vaccine site density mediated or modified the relationship between social vulnerability and vaccination rates. We found that high vulnerability counties by socioeconomic status had more vaccine sites per 10,000 residents, yet this higher vaccine site density did not reduce socioeconomic disparities in vaccination rates. Persistent vaccination inequities may reflect other structural barriers to access. Our results suggest that targeted vaccine site placement in high vulnerability counties may be necessary but insufficient for the goal of widespread, equitable vaccination.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 Vaccines , COVID-19 , Adult , Humans , Pandemics , SARS-CoV-2 , 34658 , United States , Vaccination
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