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1.
JAMA Health Forum ; 3(11): e224814, 2022 Nov 04.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-2094113

ABSTRACT

This JAMA Forum discusses Medicaid continuous enrollment and coverage under the American Rescue Plan Act and the Inflation Reduction Act and ways that the government can continue to decrease Medicaid churn (individuals cycling in and out of the program) after the COVID-19 Public Health Emergency Ends.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , Medicaid , United States , Humans , Public Health , Insurance Coverage , Insurance, Health
4.
JAMA Health Forum ; 3(9): e224207, 2022 09 02.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-2059192

ABSTRACT

This JAMA Forum discusses the potential ramifications after the COVID-19 public health emergency ends such as limiting telehealth, ending the continuous enrollment requirement in Medicaid, and decreasing regulatory flexibility that has allowed pharmacists to administer COVID-19 vaccines.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , COVID-19/epidemiology , Humans , Insurance Coverage , Medicaid , Public Health
5.
Am J Public Health ; 112(10): 1480-1488, 2022 10.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-2039525

ABSTRACT

Objectives. To evaluate the effects of state community health worker (CHW) certification programs and Medicaid reimbursement for CHW services on wages and turnover. Methods. A staggered difference-in-differences design was used to compare CHWs in states with and without CHW certification or CHW Medicaid reimbursement policies. Data were derived from the 2010 to 2021 Current Population Survey in the United States. Results. CHW wages increased by $2.42 more per hour in states with certification programs than in states without programs (P = .04). Also, hourly wages increased more among White workers, men, and part-time workers (P = .04). Wages increased by $14.46 in the state with the earliest CHW certification program adoption (P < .01). Neither of the policies assessed had an effect on occupational turnover. Conclusions. CHW wages are higher in states with certification programs. However, wage gaps exist between Whites and non-Whites and between men and women. Public Health Implications. Federal, state, and employer-based strategies are needed to establish and sustain effective CHW programs to meet the needs of communities experiencing health and access disparities. (Am J Public Health. 2022;112(10):1480-1488. https://doi.org/10.2105/AJPH.2022.306965).


Subject(s)
Community Health Workers , Medicaid , Certification , Female , Humans , Male , Policy , Salaries and Fringe Benefits , United States
6.
PLoS One ; 17(9): e0274799, 2022.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-2039429

ABSTRACT

Little is known about longitudinal patterns of welfare program participation among single mothers after they transition from employment to unemployment. To better understand how utilization patterns of these welfare programs may change during the 12 months after a job loss, we used the 2008 Survey of Income and Program Participation to examine the patterns of participation in Medicaid, the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program, Temporary Assistance for Needy Families, and unemployment insurance among 342 single mothers who transitioned from employment to unemployment during the Great Recession. Using sequence analysis and cluster analysis, this paper identified four distinct patterns of program participation: (a) constantly receiving in-kind benefits; (b) primarily but not solely receiving food stamps; (c) inconsistent unemployment insurance or Medicaid-based benefits; and (d) limited or no benefits. Almost two-fifths of our sample of single mothers received inconsistent, limited, or no benefits. Results of the multinomial regression revealed that race, work disability, poverty, homeownership, and region of residence were significant factors that influenced whether study subjects participated in or had access to social safety net programs. Our findings illustrate the heterogeneity in patterns of multiple program participation among single mothers transitioning from employment to unemployment. Better understanding these varied patterns may inform decisions that increase the accessibility of US social safety net programs for single mothers during periods of personal economic hardship.


Subject(s)
Food Assistance , Unemployment , Employment , Humans , Medicaid , Poverty , United States
7.
J Ambul Care Manage ; 45(4): 332-340, 2022.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-2018270

ABSTRACT

The objective of this study was to assess no-show rates among in-person and telemedicine visits during the COVID-19 pandemic among Medicaid members. We analyzed data from an urban safety net hospital in Denver, Colorado. Using multivariable binomial regression models, we estimated differences in probability of no shows by patient characteristics and assessed for effect modification by telemedicine use. Overall, the no-show rate was 20.5% with increased probability of no show among Hispanic (2.3%) and non-Hispanic, Black (7.4%) patients compared with their non-Hispanic, White counterparts. Modification by telemedicine was observed, decreasing no-show rates among both groups (P < .0001). Similar patterns were observed among medically complex patients. Audio-only telemedicine significantly impacted no-show rates within certain populations.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , Telemedicine , COVID-19/epidemiology , Hispanic or Latino , Humans , Medicaid , Pandemics
8.
Med Care ; 60(9): 680-690, 2022 09 01.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-2008676

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND: In the US, Medicaid covers over 80 million Americans. Comparing access, quality, and costs across Medicaid programs can provide policymakers with much-needed information. As each Medicaid agency collects its member data, multiple barriers prevent sharing Medicaid data between states. To address this gap, the Medicaid Outcomes Distributed Research Network (MODRN) developed a research network of states to conduct rapid multi-state analyses without sharing individual-level data across states. OBJECTIVE: To describe goals, design, implementation, and evolution of MODRN to inform other research networks. METHODS: MODRN implemented a distributed research network using a common data model, with each state analyzing its own data; developed standardized measure specifications and statistical software code to conduct analyses; and disseminated findings to state and federal Medicaid policymakers. Based on feedback on Medicaid agency priorities, MODRN first sought to inform Medicaid policy to improve opioid use disorder treatment, particularly medication treatment. RESULTS: Since its 2017 inception, MODRN created 21 opioid use disorder quality measures in 13 states. MODRN modified its common data model over time to include additional elements. Initial barriers included harmonizing utilization data from Medicaid billing codes across states and adapting statistical methods to combine state-level results. The network demonstrated its utility and addressed barriers to conducting multi-state analyses of Medicaid administrative data. CONCLUSIONS: MODRN created a new, scalable, successful model for conducting policy research while complying with federal and state regulations to protect beneficiary health information. Platforms like MODRN may prove useful for emerging health challenges to facilitate evidence-based policymaking in Medicaid programs.


Subject(s)
Medicaid , Opioid-Related Disorders , Costs and Cost Analysis , Humans , United States
9.
PLoS One ; 17(8): e0272497, 2022.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1993488

ABSTRACT

OBJECTIVE: To study the relationship between county-level COVID-19 outcomes (incidence and mortality) and county-level median household income and status of Medicaid expansion of US counties. METHODS: Retrospective analysis of 3142 US counties was conducted to study the relationship between County-level median-household-income and COVID-19 incidence and mortality per 100,000 people in US counties, January-20th-2021 through December-6th-2021. County median-household-income was log-transformed and stratified by quartiles. Multilevel-mixed-effects-generalized-linear-modeling adjusted for county socio-demographic and comorbidities and tested for Medicaid-expansion-times-income-quartile interaction on COVID-19 outcomes. RESULTS: There was no significant difference in COVID-19 incidence-rate across counties by income quartiles or by Medicaid expansion status. Conversely, for non-Medicaid-expansion states, counties in the lowest income quartile had a 41% increase in COVID-19 mortality-rate compared to counties in the highest income quartile. Mortality-rate was not related to income in counties from Medicaid-expansion states. CONCLUSIONS: Median-household-income was not related to COVID-19 incidence-rate but negatively related to COVID-19 mortality-rate in US counties of states without Medicaid-expansion.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , COVID-19/epidemiology , Humans , Income , Medicaid , Poverty , Retrospective Studies , United States/epidemiology
10.
J Med Internet Res ; 24(7): e38602, 2022 Jul 15.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1987332

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND: The adoption of telehealth services has been a challenge in rural communities. The reasons for the slow adoption of such technology-driven services have been attributed to social norms, health care policies, and a lack of infrastructure to support the delivery of services. However, the COVID-19 pandemic-related shutdown of in-person health care services resulted in the usage of telehealth services as a necessity rather than a choice. The pandemic also fast-tracked some needed legislation to allow medical cost reimbursement for remote examination and health care services. As services return to normalcy, it is important to examine whether the usage of telehealth services during the period of a shutdown has changed any of the trends in the acceptance of telehealth as a reliable alternative to traditional in-person health care services. OBJECTIVE: Our aim was to explore whether the temporary shift to telehealth services has changed the attitudes toward the usage of technology-enabled health services in rural communities. METHODS: We examined the Medicaid reimbursement data for the state of Alabama from March 2019 through June 2021. Selecting the telehealth service codes, we explored the adoption rates in 3 phases of the COVID-19 shutdown: prepandemic, pandemic before the rollout of mass vaccination, and pandemic after the rollout of mass vaccination. RESULTS: The trend in telemedicine claims had an opposite pattern to that in nontelemedicine claims across the 3 periods. The distribution of various characteristics of patients who used telemedicine (age group, gender, race, level of rurality, and service provider type) was different across the 3 periods. Claims related to behavior and mental health had the highest rates of telemedicine usage after the onset of the pandemic. The rate of telemedicine usage remained at a high level after the rollout of mass vaccination. CONCLUSIONS: The current trends indicate that adoption of telehealth services is likely to increase postpandemic and that the consumers (patients), service providers, health care establishments, insurance companies, and state and local policies have changed their attitudes toward telehealth. An increase in the use of telehealth could help local and federal governments address the shortage of health care facilities and service providers in underserved communities, and patients can get the much-needed care in a timely and effective manner.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , Telemedicine , COVID-19/epidemiology , COVID-19/prevention & control , Humans , Medicaid , Pandemics/prevention & control , Rural Population , United States
12.
South Med J ; 115(4): 250-255, 2022 04.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1975420

ABSTRACT

OBJECTIVES: There is evidence of substantial declines in pediatric emergency department (ED) utilization in the United States in the first several months of the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic. Less is known about whether utilization changed differentially for socioeconomically disadvantaged children. This study examined how changes in pediatric ED visits during the initial months of the COVID-19 pandemic differed by two markers of socioeconomic disadvantage: minoritized race (MR) (compared with non-Hispanic White [NHW]), and publicly insured (compared with privately insured). METHODS: This study used electronic medical records from a large pediatric ED for the period January to June 2020. Three time periods in 2020 were compared with corresponding time periods in 2019. Changes in overall visits, visits for MR versus NHW children, and Medicaid-enrolled versus privately insured children were considered, and changes in the acuity mix of ED visits and share of visits resulting in inpatient admits were inspected. RESULTS: Compared with 2019, total ED visits declined in time period (TP) 1 and TP2 of 2020 (54.3%, 48.9%). Declines were larger for MR children (57.3%, 57.8%) compared with NHW children (50.5%, 39.3%), and Medicaid enrollees (56.5%, 52.0%) compared with privately insured (48.3%, 39.0%). The MR children group experienced steeper percentage declines in high-acuity visits and visits, resulting in inpatient admissions compared with NHW children. In contrast, there was little evidence of difference between TP0s of 2019 and 2020. CONCLUSIONS: The role of socioeconomic disadvantage and the potential effects on pediatric ED visits during COVID-19 is understudied. Because disadvantaged children sometimes lack access to a usual source of health care, this raises concerns about unmet health needs and worsening health disparities.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , COVID-19/epidemiology , Child , Emergency Service, Hospital , Humans , Medicaid , Pandemics , United States/epidemiology
13.
Health Serv Res ; 57(6): 1332-1341, 2022 Dec.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1968043

ABSTRACT

OBJECTIVE: To assess post-COVID-19 changes in insurance coverage, health behaviors, and self-assessed health among low-income, non-elderly adults by state Medicaid expansion status. DATA SOURCES: We used nationally representative survey data from the 2016 through 2020 Behavioral Risk Factor Surveillance System (BRFSS). The sample was restricted to adults aged 19-64 with household income below 138 percent of the federal poverty level (N = 179,135). STUDY DESIGN: We examined a broad set of outcomes related to coverage, health behaviors, and self-assessed health available in the BRFSS. We used a difference-in-differences model to compare changes in outcomes for individuals living in the 35 states and DC that expanded Medicaid under the Affordable Care Act to those in the 15 non-expansion states before and after the COVID-19 pandemic commenced in March 2020. DATA COLLECTION/EXTRACTION METHODS: N/A. PRINCIPAL FINDINGS: We found that the expansions provided some protection for low-income people during the pandemic. In 2020, relative to earlier years, people in expansion states were more likely to report very good or excellent health (4.9 percentage points, 95%CI = 0.022, 0.076; p < 0.01) and physical health (-0.393 days of poor physical health in the past month, 95%CI = -0.714, -0.072; p < 0.05), lower rates of smoking (-1.9 percentage points, 95%CI = -0.041, 0.004; p < 0.10) and heavy drinking (-1.4 percentage points, 95%CI = -0.025, -0.004; p < 0.01), and higher flu vaccination rates (2.8 percentage points, 95%CI = 0.005, 0.051; p < 0.05) than those in non-expansion states. These benefits were particularly salient for Black and Hispanic individuals. We found no significant differences in insurance coverage, exercise, obesity, and self-assessed mental health between expansion and non-expansion states for the overall low-income sample. However, the expansion was associated with greater insurance coverage for Hispanic adults during the pandemic. CONCLUSIONS: Investments in public health through expanding Medicaid may shield low-income populations from some of the health ramifications of public health emergencies.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , Medicaid , Adult , United States/epidemiology , Humans , Middle Aged , Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act , COVID-19/epidemiology , Pandemics , Health Services Accessibility , Insurance Coverage , Outcome Assessment, Health Care
14.
Health Aff (Millwood) ; 41(8): 1078-1087, 2022 08.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1951577

ABSTRACT

Medicaid is a critical antipoverty program. Since the Affordable Care Act expanded Medicaid eligibility, millions of newly eligible people have enrolled, creating positive financial improvements for low-income families. We examined the association of Virginia's 2019 Medicaid expansion and changes in health care-related and non-health-care-related financial needs among newly eligible Medicaid enrollees. Our unique survey collected responses between December 2018 and April 2019 from newly enrolled members reporting on experiences in the year before enrollment and between July 2020 and May 2021 from members reporting on experiences one year after enrollment. The follow-up period coincided with the COVID-19 pandemic. Medicaid enrollment was associated with decreases in concern about all financial needs assessed: housing, food, monthly bills, credit card and loan payments, and health care costs. These reductions were broadly similar across demographic subgroups and across the months of the pandemic that overlapped with the follow-up period. We add to the evidence that Medicaid expansion is a social safety-net policy that could improve equity among low-income families, potentially encouraging states that have yet to expand to do so.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , Medicaid , Health Services Accessibility , Humans , Pandemics , Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act , United States , Virginia
15.
JAMA Netw Open ; 5(7): e2222360, 2022 07 01.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1940614

ABSTRACT

Importance: The COVID-19 pandemic caused significant disruptions in surgical care. Whether these disruptions disproportionately impacted economically disadvantaged individuals is unknown. Objective: To evaluate the association between the COVID-19 pandemic and mortality after major surgery among patients with Medicaid insurance or without insurance compared with patients with commercial insurance. Design, Setting, and Participants: This cross-sectional study used data from the Vizient Clinical Database for patients who underwent major surgery at hospitals in the US between January 1, 2018, and May 31, 2020. Exposures: The hospital proportion of patients with COVID-19 during the first wave of COVID-19 cases between March 1 and May 31, 2020, stratified as low (≤5.0%), medium (5.1%-10.0%), high (10.1%-25.0%), and very high (>25.0%). Main Outcomes and Measures: The main outcome was inpatient mortality. The association between mortality after surgery and payer status as a function of the proportion of hospitalized patients with COVID-19 was evaluated with a quasi-experimental triple-difference approach using logistic regression. Results: Among 2 950 147 adults undergoing inpatient surgery (1 550 752 female [52.6%]) at 677 hospitals, the primary payer was Medicare (1 427 791 [48.4%]), followed by commercial insurance (1 000 068 [33.9%]), Medicaid (321 600 [10.9%]), other payer (140 959 [4.8%]), and no insurance (59 729 [2.0%]). Mortality rates increased more for patients undergoing surgery during the first wave of the pandemic in hospitals with a high COVID-19 burden (adjusted odds ratio [AOR], 1.13; 95% CI, 1.03-1.24; P = .01) and a very high COVID-19 burden (AOR, 1.38; 95% CI, 1.24-1.53; P < .001) compared with patients in hospitals with a low COVID-19 burden. Overall, patients with Medicaid had 29% higher odds of death (AOR, 1.29; 95% CI, 1.22-1.36; P < .001) and patients without insurance had 75% higher odds of death (AOR, 1.75; 95% CI, 1.55-1.98; P < .001) compared with patients with commercial insurance. However, mortality rates for surgical patients with Medicaid insurance (AOR, 1.03; 95% CI, 0.82-1.30; P = .79) or without insurance (AOR, 0.85; 95% CI, 0.47-1.54; P = .60) did not increase more than for patients with commercial insurance in hospitals with a high COVID-19 burden compared with hospitals with a low COVID-19 burden. These findings were similar in hospitals with very high COVID-19 burdens. Conclusions and Relevance: In this cross-sectional study, the first wave of the COVID-19 pandemic was associated with a higher risk of mortality after surgery in hospitals with more than 25.0% of patients with COVID-19. However, the pandemic was not associated with greater increases in mortality among patients with no insurance or patients with Medicaid compared with patients with commercial insurance in hospitals with a very high COVID-19 burden.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , Medicare , Adult , Aged , Cross-Sectional Studies , Female , Humans , Medicaid , Pandemics , United States/epidemiology
16.
J Allergy Clin Immunol Pract ; 10(10): 2543-2549, 2022 10.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1936702

ABSTRACT

Asthma is the most common chronic health condition among children in the United States. The adverse impacts of social determinants of health often manifest in unmet health-related social needs, potentially contributing to worse asthma outcomes. With the onset and rapid spread of coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) and the identification of asthma as a potential risk factor for more severe disease, our asthma program quickly pivoted to a remote-access telemedicine asthma population management platform to best meet the needs of our most at-risk patients. Our practice provides care to a large proportion of Black and Latino/a/e children in urban areas insured by the State Medicaid Program and impacted by unmet social needs. As we pivoted to telemedicine, we consistently reached a greater number of patients and families than prepandemic and observed decreased emergency department visits and hospitalizations. About 1 in 5 families received resource touch points spanning categories of transportation, food and supplies, clothing, utilities, and rent. Overall, families reported positive experiences with telemedicine, including the ability to connect remotely with our social work and resource teams. Telemedicine may be an effective strategy for addressing both the medical and the social needs of children with asthma at risk for worse outcomes.


Subject(s)
Asthma , COVID-19 , Telemedicine , Asthma/epidemiology , Asthma/therapy , COVID-19/epidemiology , Child , Chronic Disease , Humans , Medicaid , Social Determinants of Health , United States/epidemiology
17.
PLoS One ; 17(3): e0264940, 2022.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1938421

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND: The significant adverse social and economic impact of the COVID-19 pandemic has cast broader light on the importance of addressing social determinants of health (SDOH). Medicaid Managed Care Organizations (MMCOs) have increasingly taken on a leadership role in integrating medical and social services for Medicaid members. However, the experiences of MMCOs in addressing member social needs during the pandemic has not yet been examined. AIM: The purpose of this study was to describe MMCOs' experiences with addressing the social needs of Medicaid members during the COVID-19 pandemic. METHODS: The study was a qualitative study using data from 28 semi-structured interviews with representatives from 14 MMCOs, including state-specific markets of eight national and regional managed care organizations. Data were analyzed using thematic analysis. RESULTS: Four themes emerged: the impact of the pandemic, SDOH response efforts, an expanding definition of SDOH, and managed care beyond COVID-19. Specifically, participants discussed the impact of the pandemic on enrollees, communities, and healthcare delivery, and detailed their evolving efforts to address member nonmedical needs during the pandemic. They reported an increased demand for social services coupled with a significant retraction of community social service resources. To address these emerging social service gaps, participants described mounting a prompt and adaptable response that was facilitated by strong existing relationships with community partners. CONCLUSION: Among MMCOs, the COVID-19 pandemic has emphasized the importance of addressing member social needs, and the need for broader consideration of what constitutes SDOH from a healthcare delivery standpoint.


Subject(s)
COVID-19/psychology , Medicaid/trends , Social Determinants of Health/trends , Delivery of Health Care , Humans , Managed Care Programs/statistics & numerical data , Managed Care Programs/trends , Medicaid/economics , Medicaid/statistics & numerical data , Pandemics , Qualitative Research , SARS-CoV-2/pathogenicity , Social Behavior , Social Determinants of Health/statistics & numerical data , Social Work , Stakeholder Participation , Surveys and Questionnaires , United States
18.
Health Serv Res ; 57(6): 1321-1331, 2022 Dec.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1927539

ABSTRACT

RESEARCH OBJECTIVE: To explore whether expanded Medicaid helps mitigate the relationship between unemployment due to COVID and being uninsured. Unanticipated unemployment spells are generally associated with disruptions in health insurance coverage, which could also be the case for job losses during the COVID-19 pandemic. Expanded access to Medicaid may insulate some households from long uninsurance gaps due to job loss. DATA SOURCE: Phase 1 of the Census Bureau's Experimental Household Pulse Survey covering April 23, 2020-July 21, 2020. STUDY DESIGN: We compare differences in health insurance coverage source and status linked to recent lob losses attributable to the COVID-19 pandemic in states that expanded Medicaid against states that did not expand Medicaid. DATA COLLECTION/EXTRACTION METHODS: Our analytical dataset was limited to 733,181 non-elderly adults aged 20-64. PRINCIPAL FINDINGS: Twenty-six percent of our study sample experienced an income loss between March 13, 2020, and the time leading up to the survey-16% experienced job losses (e.g., layoff, furlough) due to the COVID-19 crisis, and 11% had other reasons they were not working. COVID-linked job losses were associated with a 20 (p < 0.01) percentage-point (PPT) lower likelihood of having employer-sponsored health insurance (ESI). Relative to persons in states that did not expand Medicaid, persons in Medicaid expansion states experiencing COVID-linked job losses were 9 PPT (p < 0.01) more likely to report having Medicaid and 7 PPT (p < 0.01) less likely to be uninsured. The largest increases in Medicaid enrollment were among people who, based on their 2019 incomes, would not have qualified for Medicaid previously. CONCLUSIONS: Our findings suggest that expanded Medicaid eligibility may allow households to stabilize health care needs and they should become detached from private health coverage due to job loss during the pandemic. Households negatively affected by the pandemic are using Medicaid to insure themselves against the potential health risks they would incur while being unemployed.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , Medicaid , Adult , United States , Humans , Middle Aged , Insurance Coverage , COVID-19/epidemiology , Pandemics , Medically Uninsured , Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act , Insurance, Health , Health Services Accessibility
19.
Health Aff (Millwood) ; 41(7): 1026-1028, 2022 07.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1923719

ABSTRACT

In October 2021, the American Academy of Pediatrics and other groups declared a national emergency in child and adolescent mental health. Despite this, pediatric mental health services remain largely inaccessible for many families. A major factor contributing to the lack of access is phantom networks, which are insurance company rosters of in-network mental health providers who, in reality, don't see patients in the network. Phantom networks compound barriers to mental health care for children and adolescents. This is particularly problematic for youth, many of whom use Medicaid, who seek time-sensitive care for severe psychiatric conditions such as psychosis or suicidality. We call on US policy makers to support nationwide legislation that establishes high-quality oversight processes for in-network provider lists.


Subject(s)
Mental Disorders , Mental Health Services , Adolescent , Child , Humans , Medicaid , Mental Disorders/psychology , Mental Disorders/therapy , Mental Health , United States
20.
Health Econ ; 31(9): 1973-1992, 2022 09.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1905854

ABSTRACT

Emergencies, such as natural and manmade disasters, can present an opportunity or be a detriment to preventive healthcare. While stay-at-home orders which some states implemented to mitigate the impact of COVID-19 are known to reduce acute and routine care, little is known about missed preventive care. Dental care, unlike other forms of preventive care - such as pediatric vaccines and well-visits, is simpler to analyze as it is not practicable with telehealth. Using weekly foot traffic data by SafeGraph from January 2018 to June 2020, we examine the effect of stay-at-home orders on visits to dental offices, finding a 15.4% decline after March 2020 for states with stay-at-home orders. Surprisingly, we find that states which allowed dental care during the stay-at-home period experienced a further 7.4% decline in visits. Using Michigan Medicaid dental claims for children we find that the decline of 0.25 claims per month is driven primarily by fewer diagnostic and preventive care visits. Though some preventive visits were rescheduled, we estimate only 58% of visits missed in March and April 2020 were made up by the end of the year. These estimates quantify the short-term declines in preventive dental care, suggesting similar declines in other preventive care.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , Pandemics , COVID-19/prevention & control , Child , Dental Care , Humans , Medicaid , Pandemics/prevention & control , United States/epidemiology
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