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Acad Emerg Med ; 2023 Feb 23.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-2285413


BACKGROUND: The delivery and financing of health care services were altered in unprecedented ways by COVID-19 and subsequent policy responses. We estimated reimbursement losses to emergency physicians in 2020 compared to 2019 related to shifting acute care utilization during COVID-19. METHODS: This was an observational analysis of the Clinical Emergency Department Registry (CEDR) and the Nationwide Emergency Department Sample (NEDS). Study sample included all ED visits from a sample of 214 emergency department (ED) sites in the CEDR in 2019 and 2020 as well as all ED visits in the NEDS in 2019. We identified level of service billing code for evaluation and management (E&M) services, insurance payer, and geographic location of ED visits across sites in the CEDR and linked these to fee schedules to estimate total professional reimbursement across sites. Our primary analysis was to estimate reimbursement in 2020 compared to 2019 across the CEDR sites. In our secondary analysis, we linked sites in the CEDR to those in NEDS to estimate nationwide reimbursement. RESULTS: Total E&M reimbursement for emergency physicians in the CEDR was $1.6 billion in 2019 and $1.3 billion in 2020, reflecting a 19.7% decline year over year ($308 million loss). In our secondary analysis, we estimate nationwide losses of $6.6 billion, a -19.4% decline year over year. If emergency physicians had received maximum allowable federal relief funds via CARES Act Phases 1 to 3 (2% of 2019 revenue) this would sum to $680 million (2% of the $34 billion) or 10.3% of the estimated $6.6 billion pandemic-related losses. CONCLUSIONS: Our analyses provide an estimate of the scale of economic impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic. These findings warrant consideration for policymaker relief and future redesign of emergency care financing. Ultimately, the COVID-19 pandemic likely expanded known cracks in the financing of health care into steep fault lines.

Am J Disaster Med ; 17(1): 23-39, 2022.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1975199


OBJECTIVE: To describe trends in prehospital presentations of critical medical and trauma conditions during the COVID-19 pandemic using prehospital and emergency department (ED) care activations. METHODS: Observational analysis of ED care activations in a tertiary, urban ED between March 10, 2020 and September 1, 2020 was compared to the same time periods in 2018 and 2019. ED care activations for critical medical conditions were classified based on clinical indication: undifferentiated medical, trauma, or stroke. MAIN OUTCOME: The primary outcomes were the number of patients presenting from the prehospital setting with specified ED activation criteria, total ED volume, ambulance arrival volume, and volume of COVID-19 hospital admissions. Locally weighted scatterplot smoothing curves were used to visually display our results. RESULTS: There were 1,461 undifferentiated medical activations, 905 stroke activations, and 1,478 trauma activations recorded, representing absolute decreases of 11.3, 28.1, and 20.3 percent, respectively, relative to the same period in 2019, coinciding with the declaration of a public health emergency in Connecticut. For all three types of presentation, post-peak spikes in activations were observed in early May, approximately two weeks after our health system in Connecticut reached its peak number of COVID-19 hospitalizations-eg, undifferentiated medical activations: increase in 280 percent, n = 140 from 2019, p < 0.0001-and declined thereafter, reaching a nadir in early June 2020. CONCLUSIONS: After the announcement of public health measures to mitigate COVID-19, ED care activations declined in a large Northeast academic ED, followed by post-peak surges in activations as COVID- 19 cases decreased.

COVID-19 , Emergency Medical Services , Stroke , COVID-19/epidemiology , COVID-19/therapy , Emergency Service, Hospital , Humans , Pandemics , Retrospective Studies
Emerg Med J ; 37(8): 463-466, 2020 Aug.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-615309


The COVID-19 pandemic has led to rapid changes in community and healthcare delivery policies creating new and unique challenges to managing ED pandemic response efforts. One example is the practice of social distancing in the workplace as an internationally recommended non-pharmaceutical intervention to reduce transmission. While attention has been focused on public health measures, healthcare workers cannot overlook the transmission risk they present to their colleagues and patients. Our network of three EDs are all high traffic areas for both patients and staff, which makes the limitation of close person-to-person contact particularly difficult to achieve. To design, implement and communicate contact reduction changes in the ED workplace, our COVID-19 task force formalised a set of multidisciplinary recommendations that enumerated concrete ways to reduce healthcare worker transmission to coworkers and to patients from ED patient arrival to discharge. We also addressed staff-to-staff contact reduction strategies when not performing direct patient care. We describe our conceptual approach and successful implementation of workplace distancing.

Coronavirus Infections , Disease Transmission, Infectious/prevention & control , Emergency Service, Hospital/organization & administration , Infection Control , Interpersonal Relations , Pandemics , Pneumonia, Viral , Workplace/organization & administration , Betacoronavirus , COVID-19 , Coronavirus Infections/epidemiology , Coronavirus Infections/prevention & control , Coronavirus Infections/therapy , Delivery of Health Care/methods , Delivery of Health Care/trends , Humans , Infection Control/methods , Infection Control/organization & administration , Interdisciplinary Communication , Organizational Innovation , Pandemics/prevention & control , Pneumonia, Viral/epidemiology , Pneumonia, Viral/prevention & control , Pneumonia, Viral/therapy , Policy Making , SARS-CoV-2 , United States