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3.
J Healthc Manag ; 66(4): 258-270, 2021.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1475897

ABSTRACT

EXECUTIVE SUMMARY: Home hospital care (HHC) is a new and exciting concept that holds the promise of achieving all three components of the Triple Aim and reducing health disparities. As an innovative care delivery model, HHC substitutes traditional inpatient hospital care with hospital care at home for older patients with certain conditions. Studies have shown evidence of reduced cost of care, improved patient satisfaction, and enhanced quality and safety of care for patients treated through this model. The steady growth in Medicare Advantage enrollment and the expansion in 2020 of the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) Hospitals Without Walls program to include acute hospital care at home creates an opportunity for hospitals to implement such programs and be financially rewarded for reducing costs. Capacity constraints exacerbated by the COVID-19 pandemic suggest that now is the ideal time for healthcare leaders to test and advance the concept of HHC in their communities.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , Critical Care Nursing/economics , Critical Care Nursing/standards , Healthcare Disparities/standards , Home Care Services/economics , Home Care Services/standards , Quality of Health Care/standards , Adult , Aged , Aged, 80 and over , Female , Healthcare Disparities/economics , Healthcare Disparities/statistics & numerical data , Home Care Services/statistics & numerical data , Humans , Male , Middle Aged , Pandemics , Patient Satisfaction/statistics & numerical data , Practice Guidelines as Topic , Quality of Health Care/economics , Quality of Health Care/statistics & numerical data , SARS-CoV-2 , United States
4.
JAMA Netw Open ; 4(10): e2127369, 2021 10 01.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1453500

ABSTRACT

Importance: Persons with kidney failure require treatment (ie, dialysis or transplantation) for survival. The burden of the COVID-19 pandemic and pandemic-related disruptions in care have disproportionately affected racial and ethnic minority and socially disadvantaged populations, raising the importance of understanding disparities in treatment initiation for kidney failure during the pandemic. Objective: To examine changes in the number and demographic characteristics of patients initiating treatment for incident kidney failure following the COVID-19 pandemic by race and ethnicity, county-level COVID-19 mortality rate, and neighborhood-level social disadvantage. Design, Setting, and Participants: This cross-sectional time-trend study used data from US patients who developed kidney failure between January 1, 2018, and June 30, 2020. Data were analyzed between January and July 2021. Exposures: COVID-19 pandemic. Main Outcomes and Measures: Number of patients initiating treatment for incident kidney failure and mean estimated glomerular filtration rate (eGFR) at treatment initiation. Results: The study population included 127 149 patients with incident kidney failure between January 1, 2018, and June 30, 2020 (mean [SD] age, 62.8 [15.3] years; 53 021 [41.7%] female, 32 932 [25.9%] non-Hispanic Black, and 19 835 [15.6%] Hispanic/Latino patients). Compared with the pre-COVID-19 period, in the first 4 months of the pandemic (ie, March 1 through June 30, 2020), there were significant decreases in the proportion of patients with incident kidney failure receiving preemptive transplantation (1805 [2.1%] pre-COVID-19 vs 551 [1.4%] during COVID-19; P < .001) and initiating hemodialysis treatment with an arteriovenous fistula (2430 [15.8%] pre-COVID-19 vs 914 [13.4%] during COVID-19; P < .001). The mean (SD) eGFR at initiation declined from 9.6 (5.0) mL/min/1.73 m2 to 9.5 (4.9) mL/min/1.73 m2 during the pandemic (P < .001). In stratified analyses by race/ethnicity, these declines were exclusively observed among non-Hispanic Black patients (mean [SD] eGFR: 8.4 [4.6] mL/min/1.73 m2 pre-COVID-19 vs 8.1 [4.5] mL/min/1.73 m2 during COVID-19; P < .001). There were significant declines in eGFR at initiation for patients residing in counties in the highest quintile of COVID-19 mortality rates (9.5 [5.0] mL/min/1.73 m2 pre-COVID-19 vs 9.2 [5.0] mL/min/1.73 m2 during COVID-19; P < .001), but not for patients residing in other counties. The number of patients initiating treatment for incident kidney failure was approximately 30% lower than projected in April 2020. Conclusions and Relevance: In this cross-sectional study of US adults, the COVID-19 pandemic was associated with a substantially lower number of patients initiating treatment for incident kidney failure and treatment initiation at lower levels of kidney function during the first 4 months, particularly for Black patients and people living in counties with high COVID-19 mortality rates.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , Health Services Accessibility/trends , Healthcare Disparities/trends , Minority Groups , Renal Insufficiency/therapy , Social Class , Adolescent , Adult , Aged , Aged, 80 and over , COVID-19/mortality , Cross-Sectional Studies , Female , Health Services Accessibility/economics , Healthcare Disparities/economics , Healthcare Disparities/ethnology , Humans , Kidney Transplantation/economics , Kidney Transplantation/trends , Male , Middle Aged , Pandemics , Poisson Distribution , Renal Dialysis/economics , Renal Dialysis/trends , Renal Insufficiency/economics , Renal Insufficiency/ethnology , Residence Characteristics , United States/epidemiology , Vulnerable Populations , Young Adult
5.
Pan Afr Med J ; 39: 197, 2021.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1431149

ABSTRACT

The COVID-19 pandemic has changed the world in so many ways since 2019 when the first case was recorded. COVID-19 pandemic has impacted negatively on economy, health, education and infrastructure globally. COVID-19 vaccine was developed with the aim of stopping the pandemic and allowing the rebuilding of our societies and economies. The vaccine was rolled out in December 2020 and the distribution plan appears to be skewed in favour of high income countries. This paper highlights the need for consideration of the principles of equity and universal health coverage in the distribution plan of the vaccine. It emphasizes the need to ensure that the interests of citizens of developing and low income countries are well protected. The paper concludes that issues of disparity in economic status of countries entering agreement with the vaccine manufacturing companies, absence of logistic support among others should not be a barrier to ensuring equitable access to vaccine for all consistent with the sustainable development goal 3.7.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 Vaccines/supply & distribution , COVID-19/prevention & control , Healthcare Disparities/economics , Universal Health Insurance/economics , COVID-19 Vaccines/economics , Developing Countries , Drug Industry/economics , Global Health , Health Equity , Health Services Accessibility/economics , Humans , Socioeconomic Factors
7.
JAMA ; 326(3): 250-256, 2021 07 20.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1338163

ABSTRACT

Importance: Medical debt is an increasing concern in the US, yet there is limited understanding of the amount and distribution of medical debt, and its association with health care policies. Objective: To measure the amount of medical debt nationally and by geographic region and income group and its association with Medicaid expansion under the Affordable Care Act. Design, Setting, and Participants: Data on medical debt in collections were obtained from a nationally representative 10% panel of consumer credit reports between January 2009 and June 2020 (reflecting care provided prior to the COVID-19 pandemic). Income data were obtained from the 2014-2018 American Community Survey. The sample consisted of 4.1 billion person-month observations (nearly 40 million unique individuals). These data were used to estimate the amount of medical debt (nationally and by geographic region and zip code income decile) and to examine the association between Medicaid expansion and medical debt (overall and by income group). Exposures: Geographic region (US Census region), income group (zip code income decile), and state Medicaid expansion status. Main Outcomes and Measures: The stock (all unpaid debt listed on credit reports) and flow (new debt listed on credit reports during the preceding 12 months) of medical debt in collections that can be collected on by debt collectors. Results: In June 2020, an estimated 17.8% of individuals had medical debt (13.0% accrued debt during the prior year), and the mean amount was $429 ($311 accrued during the prior year). The mean stock of medical debt was highest in the South and lowest in the Northeast ($616 vs $167; difference, $448 [95% CI, $435-$462]) and higher in poor than in rich zip code income deciles ($677 vs $126; difference, $551 [95% CI, $520-$581]). Between 2013 and 2020, the states that expanded Medicaid in 2014 experienced a decline in the mean flow of medical debt that was 34.0 percentage points (95% CI, 18.5-49.4 percentage points) greater (from $330 to $175) than the states that did not expand Medicaid (from $613 to $550). In the expansion states, the gap in the mean flow of medical debt between the lowest and highest zip code income deciles decreased by $145 (95% CI, $95-$194) while the gap increased by $218 (95% CI, $163-$273) in the nonexpansion states. Conclusions and Relevance: This study provides an estimate of the amount of medical debt in collections in the US based on consumer credit reports from January 2009 to June 2020, reflecting care delivered prior to the COVID-19 pandemic, and suggests that the amount of medical debt was highest among individuals living in the South and in lower-income communities. However, further study is needed regarding debt related to COVID-19.


Subject(s)
Financing, Personal/economics , Health Expenditures/statistics & numerical data , Healthcare Disparities/economics , Humans , Income , Insurance, Health/economics , Medicaid/economics , Medically Uninsured , Social Determinants of Health , United States
8.
Ann Surg ; 273(5): 844-849, 2021 05 01.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1304017

ABSTRACT

OBJECTIVE: We sought to quantify the financial impact of elective surgery cancellations in the US during COVID-19 and simulate hospitals' recovery times from a single period of surgery cessation. BACKGROUND: COVID-19 in the US resulted in cessation of elective surgery-a substantial driver of hospital revenue-and placed patients at risk and hospitals under financial stress. We sought to quantify the financial impact of elective surgery cancellations during the pandemic and simulate hospitals' recovery times. METHODS: Elective surgical cases were abstracted from the Nationwide Inpatient Sample (2016-2017). Time series were utilized to forecast March-May 2020 revenues and demand. Sensitivity analyses were conducted to calculate the time to clear backlog cases and match expected ongoing demand in the post-COVID period. Subset analyses were performed by hospital region and teaching status. RESULTS: National revenue loss due to major elective surgery cessation was estimated to be $22.3 billion (B). Recovery to market equilibrium was conserved across strata and influenced by pre- and post-COVID capacity utilization. Median recovery time was 12-22 months across all strata. Lower pre-COVID utilization was associated with fewer months to recovery. CONCLUSIONS: Strategies to mitigate the predicted revenue loss of $22.3B due to major elective surgery cessation will vary with hospital-specific supply-demand equilibrium. If patient demand is slow to return, hospitals should focus on marketing of services; if hospital capacity is constrained, efficient capacity expansion may be beneficial. Finally, rural and urban nonteaching hospitals may face increased financial risk which may exacerbate care disparities.


Subject(s)
COVID-19/prevention & control , Elective Surgical Procedures/economics , Financial Management, Hospital , Hospital Costs , Pandemics/prevention & control , Quarantine , Female , Healthcare Disparities/economics , Hospital Bed Capacity , Humans , Male , Middle Aged , SARS-CoV-2 , Time Factors , United States
15.
Epidemiol Health ; 43: e2021007, 2021.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1094290

ABSTRACT

OBJECTIVES: This study explored socioeconomic disparities in Korea using health insurance type as a proxy during the ongoing coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic. METHODS: We conducted a retrospective cohort study using Korea's nationwide healthcare database, which contained all individuals who received a diagnostic test for COVID-19 (n=232,390) as of May 15, 2020. We classified our cohort by health insurance type into beneficiaries of the National Health Insurance (NHI) or Medicaid programs. Our study outcomes were infection with severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) and COVID-19-related outcomes, a composite of all-cause death, intensive care unit admission, and mechanical ventilation use. We estimated age-, sex-, and Charlson comorbidity index score-adjusted odds ratios (aORs) with 95% confidence intervals (CIs) using a multivariable logistic regression analysis. RESULTS: Of the 218,070 NHI and 14,320 Medicaid beneficiaries who received COVID-19 tests, 7,777 and 738 tested positive, respectively. The Medicaid beneficiaries were older (mean age, 57.5 vs. 47.8 years), more likely to be males (47.2 vs. 40.2%), and had a higher comorbidity burden (mean CCI, 2.0 vs. 1.7) than NHI beneficiaries. Compared to NHI beneficiaries, Medicaid beneficiaries had a 22% increased risk of SARS-CoV-2 infection (aOR, 1.22; 95% CI, 1.09 to 1.38), but had no significantly elevated risk of COVID-19-related outcomes (aOR 1.10, 95% CI 0.77 to 1.57); the individual events of the composite outcome yielded similar findings. CONCLUSIONS: As socioeconomic factors, with health insurance as a proxy, could serve as determinants during the current pandemic, pre-emptive support is needed for high-risk groups to slow its spread.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 Testing/statistics & numerical data , COVID-19/diagnosis , Healthcare Disparities/economics , Insurance, Health/statistics & numerical data , Pandemics , Adult , Aged , Aged, 80 and over , COVID-19/epidemiology , Databases, Factual , Female , Humans , Insurance Claim Review , Male , Middle Aged , Republic of Korea/epidemiology , Retrospective Studies , Socioeconomic Factors , Young Adult
17.
J Diabetes Sci Technol ; 15(5): 1005-1009, 2021 09.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1085175

ABSTRACT

The COVID-19 pandemic raised distinct challenges in the field of scarce resource allocation, a long-standing area of inquiry in the field of bioethics. Policymakers and states developed crisis guidelines for ventilator triage that incorporated such factors as immediate prognosis, long-term life expectancy, and current stage of life. Often these depend upon existing risk factors for severe illness, including diabetes. However, these algorithms generally failed to account for the underlying structural biases, including systematic racism and economic disparity, that rendered some patients more vulnerable to these conditions. This paper discusses this unique ethical challenge in resource allocation through the lens of care for patients with severe COVID-19 and diabetes.


Subject(s)
COVID-19/therapy , Diabetes Complications/therapy , Diabetes Mellitus/therapy , Resource Allocation , COVID-19/complications , COVID-19/epidemiology , Diabetes Complications/economics , Diabetes Complications/epidemiology , Diabetes Mellitus/economics , Diabetes Mellitus/epidemiology , Health Services Accessibility/economics , Health Services Accessibility/ethics , Health Services Accessibility/standards , Health Services Accessibility/statistics & numerical data , Health Status Disparities , Healthcare Disparities/economics , Healthcare Disparities/ethics , Healthcare Disparities/organization & administration , Healthcare Disparities/statistics & numerical data , Humans , Pandemics , Racism/ethics , Racism/statistics & numerical data , Resource Allocation/economics , Resource Allocation/ethics , Resource Allocation/organization & administration , Resource Allocation/statistics & numerical data , Triage/economics , Triage/ethics , United States/epidemiology , Ventilators, Mechanical/economics , Ventilators, Mechanical/statistics & numerical data , Ventilators, Mechanical/supply & distribution
19.
Dig Dis Sci ; 67(1): 93-99, 2022 01.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1051364

ABSTRACT

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.


Subject(s)
COVID-19/economics , Healthcare Disparities/economics , Liver Diseases/economics , 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
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