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1.
PLoS One ; 17(2): e0262264, 2022.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1793544

ABSTRACT

We estimated excess mortality in Medicare recipients in the United States with probable and confirmed Covid-19 infections in the general community and amongst residents of long-term care (LTC) facilities. We considered 28,389,098 Medicare and dual-eligible recipients from one year before February 29, 2020 through September 30, 2020, with mortality followed through November 30th, 2020. Probable and confirmed Covid-19 diagnoses, presumably mostly symptomatic, were determined from ICD-10 codes. We developed a Risk Stratification Index (RSI) mortality model which was applied prospectively to establish baseline mortality risk. Excess deaths attributable to Covid-19 were estimated by comparing actual-to-expected deaths based on historical (2017-2019) comparisons and in closely matched concurrent (2020) cohorts with and without Covid-19. Overall, 677,100 (2.4%) beneficiaries had confirmed Covid-19 and 2,917,604 (10.3%) had probable Covid-19. A total of 472,329 confirmed cases were community living and 204,771 were in LTC. Mortality following a probable or confirmed diagnosis in the community increased from an expected incidence of about 4.0% to actual incidence of 7.5%. In long-term care facilities, the corresponding increase was from 20.3% to 24.6%. The absolute increase was therefore similar at 3-4% in the community and in LTC residents. The percentage increase was far greater in the community (89.5%) than among patients in chronic care facilities (21.1%) who had higher baseline risk of mortality. The LTC population without probable or confirmed Covid-19 diagnoses experienced 38,932 excess deaths (34.8%) compared to historical estimates. Limitations in access to Covid-19 testing and disease under-reporting in LTC patients probably were important factors, although social isolation and disruption in usual care presumably also contributed. Remarkably, there were 31,360 (5.4%) fewer deaths than expected in community dwellers without probable or confirmed Covid-19 diagnoses. Disruptions to the healthcare system and avoided medical care were thus apparently offset by other factors, representing overall benefit. The Covid-19 pandemic had marked effects on mortality, but the effects were highly context-dependent.


Subject(s)
COVID-19/mortality , Medicare/trends , Aged , Aged, 80 and over , COVID-19/economics , Female , Humans , Incidence , Insurance Benefits/trends , Long-Term Care/trends , Male , Mortality , Risk Factors , SARS-CoV-2/pathogenicity , Skilled Nursing Facilities/trends , United States
2.
Inflamm Bowel Dis ; 28(3): 358-363, 2022 03 02.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1769283

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND: This study evaluated synchronous audiovisual telehealth and audio-only visits for patients with inflammatory bowel disease (IBD) to determine frequency of successful telehealth visits and determine what factors increase the likelihood of completion. METHODS: Data were collected from March to July 2020 in a tertiary care adult IBD clinic that was transitioned to a fully telehealth model. A protocol for telehealth was implemented. A retrospective analysis was performed using electronic medical record (EMR) data. All patients were scheduled for video telehealth. If this failed, providers attempted to conduct the visit as audio only. RESULTS: Between March and July 2020, 2571 telehealth visits were scheduled for adult patients with IBD. Of these, 2498 (99%) were successfully completed by video or phone. Sixty percent were female, and the median age was 41 years. Eighty six percent of the population was white, 8% black, 2% other, and 4% were missing. Seventy-five percent had commercial insurance, 15% had Medicare, 5% had Medicaid, and 5% had other insurance. No significant factors were found for an attempted but completely failed visit. Using a multivariate logistic regression model, increasing age (odds ratio, 1.80; 95% CI, 1.55-2.08; P < 0.05), noncommercial insurance status (odds ratio, 1.89; 95% CI, 1.61-2.21; P < 0.05), and black race (odds ratio, 2.07; 95% CI, 1.38-3.08; P < 0.05) increased the likelihood of a video encounter failure. CONCLUSIONS: There is a high success rate for telehealth within an IBD population with defined clinic protocols. Certain patient characteristics such as age, race, and health insurance type increase the risk of failure of a video visit.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , Inflammatory Bowel Diseases , Telemedicine , Adult , Aged , Demography , Female , Humans , Inflammatory Bowel Diseases/epidemiology , Inflammatory Bowel Diseases/therapy , Medicare , Retrospective Studies , United States/epidemiology
3.
J Gen Intern Med ; 37(5): 1183-1190, 2022 Apr.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1767621

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND: Communities of color have been disproportionately impacted by the COVID-19 epidemic in the USA. OBJECTIVES: To examine the relationship of self-reported social health needs with SARS-COV-2 infection by race/ethnicity among insured adults with access to high-quality health care. DESIGN AND PARTICIPANTS: A prospective cohort study of 26,741 adult Kaiser Permanente Northern California members insured by Medicaid and 58,802 Kaiser Permanente Colorado members insured by Medicare Advantage who completed social risk assessments prior to the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic. MAIN MEASURES: We examined the independent relationships of demographic, medical, and social factors on SARS-COV-2 testing and positivity between March 1, 2020, and November 30, 2020, by race/ethnicity. KEY RESULTS: Findings were similar in the two cohorts, with Latino (16-18%), Asian (11-14%), and Black (11-12%) members having the highest prevalence of SARS-COV-2 infection (ORs adjusted for age, gender, and use of interpreter ranging from 1.68 to 2.23 compared to White member [7-8%], p < 0.001). Further adjustment for medical comorbidity (e.g., obesity, diabetes, chronic lung disease); neighborhood measures; and self-reported social risk factors (e.g., trouble paying for basics, food insecurity, housing concerns, transportation barriers) did not appreciably change these results. CONCLUSIONS: Compared to non-Latino White members, members of other race/ethnic groups had higher positivity rates that were only minimally reduced after controlling for medical and neighborhood conditions and self-reported social risk factors. These findings suggest that traditional infection transmission factors such as essential work roles and household size that have disproportionate representation among communities of color may be important contributors to SARS-COV-2 infection among insured adults.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , Adult , Aged , COVID-19 Testing , Cohort Studies , Humans , Medicare , Pandemics , Prospective Studies , SARS-CoV-2 , United States/epidemiology
4.
Clin J Oncol Nurs ; 26(2): 215-218, 2022 04 01.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1765480

ABSTRACT

Patients with cancer are particularly susceptible to Clostridioides difficile infections because of their exposure to antibiotics, serious underlying chronic illnesses, advancing age, immunocompromising conditions, and extended lengths of stays in the hospital setting. In addition to suboptimal hand hygiene, other potential sources for bacterial transmission in the hospital setting include high-touch surfaces within the patient's immediate environment. Payers, such as the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services, continue to prioritize the reduction of healthcare-associated infections.


Subject(s)
Clostridioides difficile , Neoplasms , Aged , Clostridioides , Hospitals , Humans , Medicare , United States
5.
Am J Infect Control ; 50(4): 369-374, 2022 Apr.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1763534

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND: Influenza is associated with significant morbidity and mortality for adults aged 65 years and older. Influenza vaccination of health care workers is recommended. There is limited evidence regarding influenza vaccinations among health care workers in the home health care (HHC) setting and their impact on HHC patient outcomes. METHODS: A national survey of HHC agencies was conducted in 2018-2019 and linked with patient data from the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services. Adjusted logistic regression models were used to estimate the association between hospital transfers due to respiratory infection during a 60 day HHC episode and staff vaccination policies. RESULTS: Only 26.2% of HHC agencies had staff vaccination requirements and 71.2% agencies had staff vaccination rates higher than 75%. Agency policies for staff influenza vaccination were associated with reduced hospital transfers due to respiratory infection among HHC patients. DISCUSSION: Influenza vaccination rates among HHC staff were low during the 2017-2018 influenza season. Policymakers may consider vaccination mandates to improve health care worker vaccination rates and protect patient safety. CONCLUSIONS: This study sheds light on the potential impact of COVID-19 vaccination among HHC workers on patient outcomes. COVID-19 vaccination mandates could prove to be a vital tool in the fight against COVID-19 variants and infection outbreaks.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , Home Care Services , Influenza, Human , Adult , Aged , COVID-19 Vaccines , Hospitalization , Humans , Influenza, Human/epidemiology , Influenza, Human/prevention & control , Medicare , SARS-CoV-2 , United States , Vaccination
7.
BMC Geriatr ; 22(1): 234, 2022 03 21.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1753107

ABSTRACT

OBJECTIVE: The purpose of this study is to describe the experiences of home-based care providers (HBCP)  in providing care to older adults during the pandemic in order to inform future disaster planning, including during pandemics. DESIGN: Qualitative inquiry using an abductive analytic approach. SETTING AND PARTICIPANTS: Home-based care providers in COVID-19 hotspots. METHODS: Telephone interviews were conducted with 27 participants (administrators, registered nurses and other members of the allied healthcare team), who provided in-home care during the pandemic in Medicare-certified home health agencies. Interviews focused on eliciting experiences from HBCP on challenges and successes in providing home-based care to older adults, including barriers to care and strategies employed to keep patients, and providers, safe in their homes during the pandemic. RESULTS: Data was distilled into four major themes that have potential policy and practice impact. These included disrupted aging-in-place resources, preparedness actions contributing to readiness for the pandemic, limited adaptability in administrative needs during the pandemic and challenges with unclear messaging from public health officials. CONCLUSIONS: Home-based care plays an essential role in maintaining the health of older adults in disaster contexts, including pandemics. Innovative solutions, informed by policy that generate evidence-based best practices to support HBCP are needed to reduce barriers and increase protective factors, in order to maintain continuity of care for this vulnerable population during disruptive events.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , Home Care Services , Aged , COVID-19/epidemiology , Humans , Medicare , Pandemics , Policy , United States/epidemiology
8.
Obesity (Silver Spring) ; 30(2): 338-346, 2022 02.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1750426

ABSTRACT

OBJECTIVE: A first-in-human responsive deep brain stimulation (rDBS) trial (NCT03868670) for obesity is under way, which is based on promising preclinical evidence. Given the upfront costs of rDBS, it is prudent to examine the success threshold for cost-effectiveness compared with laparoscopic Roux-en-Y gastric bypass (LRYGB). METHODS: Efficacy and safety data on LRYGB and safety data on rDBS were collected for established indications through a literature search. The success threshold was defined as minimum BMI reduction. Treatment costs were calculated via Medicare national reimbursement data. RESULTS: LRYGB had a mean BMI reduction of 13.75 kg/m2 . Based on adverse events, LRYGB was a less-preferred health state (overall adverse event utility of 0.96 [0.02]) than rDBS (0.98 [0.01]), but LRYGB ($14,366 [$6,410]) had a significantly lower treatment cost than rDBS ($29,951 [$4,490]; p < 0.0001). Therefore, for rDBS to be cost-effective compared with LRYGB, the multiple models yielded a success threshold range of 13.7 to 15.2 kg/m2 . CONCLUSIONS: This study established a preliminary efficacy success threshold for rDBS to be cost-effective for severe obesity, and results from randomized controlled trials are needed. This analysis allows for interpretation of the economic impact of advancing rDBS for obesity in light of ongoing trial results and suggests an attainable threshold is needed for cost-effectiveness.


Subject(s)
Deep Brain Stimulation , Gastric Bypass , Obesity, Morbid , Aged , Cost-Benefit Analysis , Gastrectomy/methods , Gastric Bypass/methods , Health Care Costs , Humans , Medicare , Obesity/etiology , Obesity, Morbid/surgery , Treatment Outcome , United States
9.
Alzheimers Dement ; 18(4): 700-789, 2022 Apr.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1739115

ABSTRACT

This article describes the public health impact of Alzheimer's disease (AD), including incidence and prevalence, mortality and morbidity, use and costs of care, and the overall impact on family caregivers, the dementia workforce and society. The Special Report discusses consumers' and primary care physicians' perspectives on awareness, diagnosis and treatment of mild cognitive impairment (MCI), including MCI due to Alzheimer's disease. An estimated 6.5 million Americans age 65 and older are living with Alzheimer's dementia today. This number could grow to 13.8 million by 2060 barring the development of medical breakthroughs to prevent, slow or cure AD. Official death certificates recorded 121,499 deaths from AD in 2019, the latest year for which data are available. Alzheimer's disease was officially listed as the sixth-leading cause of death in the United States in 2019 and the seventh-leading cause of death in 2020 and 2021, when COVID-19 entered the ranks of the top ten causes of death. Alzheimer's remains the fifth-leading cause of death among Americans age 65 and older. Between 2000 and 2019, deaths from stroke, heart disease and HIV decreased, whereas reported deaths from AD increased more than 145%. More than 11 million family members and other unpaid caregivers provided an estimated 16 billion hours of care to people with Alzheimer's or other dementias in 2021. These figures reflect a decline in the number of caregivers compared with a decade earlier, as well as an increase in the amount of care provided by each remaining caregiver. Unpaid dementia caregiving was valued at $271.6 billion in 2021. Its costs, however, extend to family caregivers' increased risk for emotional distress and negative mental and physical health outcomes - costs that have been aggravated by COVID-19. Members of the dementia care workforce have also been affected by COVID-19. As essential care workers, some have opted to change jobs to protect their own health and the health of their families. However, this occurs at a time when more members of the dementia care workforce are needed. Average per-person Medicare payments for services to beneficiaries age 65 and older with AD or other dementias are almost three times as great as payments for beneficiaries without these conditions, and Medicaid payments are more than 22 times as great. Total payments in 2022 for health care, long-term care and hospice services for people age 65 and older with dementia are estimated to be $321 billion. A recent survey commissioned by the Alzheimer's Association revealed several barriers to consumers' understanding of MCI. The survey showed low awareness of MCI among Americans, a reluctance among Americans to see their doctor after noticing MCI symptoms, and persistent challenges for primary care physicians in diagnosing MCI. Survey results indicate the need to improve MCI awareness and diagnosis, especially in underserved communities, and to encourage greater participation in MCI-related clinical trials.


Subject(s)
Alzheimer Disease , COVID-19 , Cognitive Dysfunction , Aged , Alzheimer Disease/diagnosis , Caregivers/psychology , Cognitive Dysfunction/epidemiology , Health Care Costs , Humans , Medicare , United States/epidemiology
11.
JAMA Netw Open ; 5(3): e221754, 2022 03 01.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1733813

ABSTRACT

Importance: The increased hospital mortality rates from non-SARS-CoV-2 causes during the SARS-CoV-2 pandemic are incompletely characterized. Objective: To describe changes in mortality rates after hospitalization for non-SARS-CoV-2 conditions during the COVID-19 pandemic and how mortality varies by characteristics of the admission and hospital. Design, Setting, and Participants: Retrospective cohort study from January 2019 through September 2021 using 100% of national Medicare claims, including 4626 US hospitals. Participants included 8 448 758 individuals with non-COVID-19 medical admissions with fee-for-service Medicare insurance. Main Outcomes and Measures: Outcome was mortality in the 30 days after admission with adjusted odds generated from a 3-level (admission, hospital, and county) logistic regression model that included diagnosis, demographic variables, comorbidities, hospital characteristics, and hospital prevalence of SARS-CoV-2. Results: There were 8 448 758 non-SARS-CoV-2 medical admissions in 2019 and from April 2020 to September 2021 (mean [SD] age, 73.66 [12.88] years; 52.82% women; 821 569 [11.87%] Black, 438 453 [6.34%] Hispanic, 5 351 956 [77.35%] White, and 307 218 [4.44%] categorized as other). Mortality in the 30 days after admission increased from 9.43% in 2019 to 11.48% from April 1, 2020, to March 31, 2021 (odds ratio [OR], 1.20; 95% CI, 1.19-1.21) in multilevel logistic regression analyses including admission and hospital characteristics. The increase in mortality was maintained throughout the first 18 months of the pandemic and varied by race and ethnicity (OR, 1.27; 95% CI, 1.23-1.30 for Black enrollees; OR, 1.25; 95% CI, 1.23-1.27 for Hispanic enrollees; and OR, 1.18; 95% CI, 1.17-1.19 for White enrollees); Medicaid eligibility (OR, 1.25; 95% CI, 1.24-1.27 for Medicaid eligible vs OR, 1.18; 95% CI, 1.16-1.18 for noneligible); and hospital quality score, measured on a scale of 1 to 5 stars with 1 being the worst and 5 being the best (OR, 1.27; 95% CI, 1.22-1.31 for 1 star vs OR, 1.11; 95% CI, 1.08-1.15 for 5 stars). Greater hospital prevalence of SARS-CoV-2 was associated with greater increases in odds of death from the prepandemic period to the pandemic period; for example, comparing mortality in October through December 2020 with October through December 2019, the OR was 1.44 (95% CI, 1.39-1.49) for hospitals in the top quartile of SARS-CoV-2 admissions vs an OR of 1.19 (95% CI, 1.16-1.22) for admissions to hospitals in the lowest quartile. This association was mostly limited to admissions with high-severity diagnoses. Conclusions and Relevance: The prolonged elevation in mortality rates after hospital admission in 2020 and 2021 for non-SARS-CoV-2 diagnoses contrasts with reports of improvement in hospital mortality during 2020 for SARS-CoV-2. The results of this cohort study suggest that, with the continued impact of SARS-CoV-2, it is important to implement interventions to improve access to high-quality hospital care for those with non-SARS-CoV-2 diseases.


Subject(s)
COVID-19/mortality , Hospitalization/trends , Medicare/statistics & numerical data , Mortality/trends , Pandemics , SARS-CoV-2 , Aged , COVID-19/ethnology , Cohort Studies , Female , Humans , Insurance Claim Review , Male , Socioeconomic Factors , United States/epidemiology
12.
Health Aff (Millwood) ; 41(3): 350-359, 2022 03.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1731609

ABSTRACT

In the Furthering Access to Stroke Telemedicine (FAST) Act, passed as part of a budget omnibus in 2018, Congress permanently expanded Medicare payment for telemedicine consultations for acute stroke ("telestroke") from delivery only in rural areas to delivery in both urban and rural areas, effective January 1, 2019. Using a controlled time-series analysis, we found that one year after FAST Act implementation, billing for Medicare telestroke increased substantially in emergency departments at both directly affected urban hospitals and indirectly affected rural hospitals. However, at that time only a minority of hospitals with known telestroke capacity had ever billed Medicare for that service, and there was substantial billing inconsistent with Medicare requirements. As Congress considers options for Medicare telemedicine payment after the COVID-19 pandemic, our findings, which are consistent with confusion among providers regarding telemedicine billing requirements, suggest that simplified payment rules would help ensure that expanded reimbursement achieves its intended impact.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , Stroke , Telemedicine , Aged , Hospitals, Rural , Humans , Medicare , Pandemics , SARS-CoV-2 , Stroke/diagnosis , Stroke/therapy , United States
13.
J Am Heart Assoc ; 11(7): e023935, 2022 Apr 05.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1714485

ABSTRACT

Background The COVID-19 pandemic resulted in a rapid implementation of telemedicine into clinical practice. This study examined whether early outpatient follow-up via telemedicine is as effective as in-person visits for reducing 30-day readmissions in patients with heart failure. Methods and Results Using electronic health records from a large health system, we included patients with heart failure living in North Carolina (N=6918) who were hospitalized between March 16, 2020 and March 14, 2021. All-cause readmission within 30 days after discharge was examined using weighted logistic regression models. Overall, 7.6% (N=526) of patients received early telemedicine follow-up, 38.8% (N=2681) received early in-person follow-up, and 53.6% (N=3711) did not receive follow-up within 14 days of discharge. Compared with patients without early follow-up, those who received early follow-up were younger, were more likely to be Medicare beneficiaries, had more comorbidities, and were less likely to live in an disadvantaged neighborhood. Relative to in-person visits, those with telemedicine follow-up were of similar age, sex, and race but with generally fewer comorbidities. Overall, the 30-day readmission rate (19.0%) varied among patients who received telemedicine visits (15.0%), in-person visits (14.0%), or no follow-up (23.1%). After covariate adjustment, patients who received either telemedicine (odds ratio [OR], 0.55; 95% CI, 0.44-0.72) or in-person (OR, 0.52; 95% CI, 0.45-0.60) visits were similarly less likely to be readmitted within 30 days compared with patients with no follow-up. Conclusions During the COVID-19 pandemic, the use of telemedicine visits for early follow-up increased rapidly. Patients with heart failure who received outpatient follow-up either via telemedicine or in-person had better outcomes than those who received no follow-up.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , Heart Failure , Telemedicine , Aged , COVID-19/epidemiology , Heart Failure/diagnosis , Heart Failure/epidemiology , Heart Failure/therapy , Humans , Medicare , Pandemics , Patient Readmission , United States
14.
JAMA Neurol ; 79(4): 342-348, 2022 Apr 01.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1711998

ABSTRACT

Importance: The COVID-19 pandemic fundamentally altered the delivery of health care in the United States. The associations between these COVID-19-related changes and outcomes in vulnerable patients, such as among persons with Alzheimer disease and related dementias (ADRD), are not yet well understood. Objective: To determine the association between regional rates of COVID-19 infection and excess mortality among individuals with ADRD. Design, Setting, and Participants: This retrospective cross-sectional study used data from beneficiaries of 100% fee-for-service Medicare Parts A and B between January 1, 2019, and December 31, 2020, to assess age- and sex-adjusted mortality rates. Participants were 53 640 888 Medicare enrollees 65 years of age or older categorized into 4 prespecified cohorts: enrollees with or without ADRD and enrollees with or without ADRD residing in nursing homes. Exposures: Monthly COVID-19 infection rates by hospital referral region between January and December 2020. Main Outcomes and Measures: Mortality rates from March through December 2020 were compared with those from March through December 2019. Excess mortality was calculated by comparing mortality rates in 2020 with rates in 2019 for specific, predetermined groups. Means were compared using t tests, and 95% CIs were estimated using the delta method. Results: This cross-sectional study included 26 952 752 Medicare enrollees in 2019 and 26 688 136 enrollees in 2020. In 2019, the mean (SD) age of community-dwelling beneficiaries without ADRD was 74.1 (8.8) years and with ADRD was 82.6 (8.4) years. The mean (SD) age of nursing home residents with ADRD (83.6 [8.4] years) was similar to that for patients without ADRD (79.7 [8.8] years). Among patients diagnosed as having ADRD in 2019, 63.5% were women, 2.7% were Asian, 9.2% were Black, 5.7% were Hispanic, 80.7% were White, and 1.7% were identified as other (included all races or ethnicities other than those given); the composition did not change appreciably in 2020. Compared with 2019, adjusted mortality in 2020 was 12.4% (95% CI, 12.1%-12.6%) higher among enrollees without ADRD and 25.7% (95% CI, 25.3%-26.2%) higher among all enrollees with ADRD, with even higher percentages for Asian (36.0%; 95% CI, 32.6%-39.3%), Black (36.7%; 95% CI, 35.2%-38.2%), and Hispanic (40.1%; 95% CI, 37.9%-42.3%) populations with ADRD. The hospital referral region in the lowest quintile for COVID-19 infections in 2020 had no excess mortality among enrollees without ADRD but 8.8% (95% CI, 7.5%-10.2%) higher mortality among community-dwelling enrollees with ADRD and 14.2% (95% CI, 12.2%-16.2%) higher mortality among enrollees with ADRD living in nursing homes. Conclusions and Relevance: The results of this cross-sectional study suggest that the COVID-19 pandemic may be associated with excess mortality among older adults with ADRD, especially for Asian, Black, and Hispanic populations and people living in nursing homes, even in areas with low COVID-19 prevalence.


Subject(s)
Alzheimer Disease , COVID-19 , Aged , Alzheimer Disease/epidemiology , Child , Cross-Sectional Studies , Female , Humans , Medicare , Pandemics , Retrospective Studies , United States/epidemiology
16.
Geriatr Nurs ; 44: 237-244, 2022.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1705455

ABSTRACT

Nursing home residents are highly susceptible to COVID-19 infection and complications. We used a generalized linear mixed Poisson model and spatial statistics to examine the determinants of COVID-19 deaths in 13,350 nursing homes in the first 2-year pandemic period using the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services and county-level related data. The average prevalence of COVID-19 mortality among residents was 9.02 (Interquartile range = 10.18) per 100 nursing home beds in the first 2-year of the pandemic. Fully-adjusted mixed model shows that nursing homes COVID-19 deaths reduced by 5% (Q2 versus Q1: IRR = 0.949, 95% CI 0.901- 0.999), 14.4% (Q3 versus Q1: IRR = 0.815, 95% CI 0.718 - 0.926), and 25% (Q2 versus Q1: IRR = 0.751, 95% CI 0.701- 0.805) of facility ratings. Spatial analysis showed a significant hotspot of nursing home COVID-19 deaths in the Northeast US. This study contributes to nursing home quality assessment for improving residents' health.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , Pandemics , Aged , Demography , Humans , Medicare , Nursing Homes , United States/epidemiology
17.
Int J Drug Policy ; 102: 103591, 2022 04.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1693693

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND: Methadone is a highly effective treatment for opioid use disorder. Its use in the United States is highly regulated at both the federal and state level. The regulations related to take-home doses were loosened because of the 2019 Novel Coronavirus public health emergency declaration. The aim was to assess the effect of loosened regulations on methadone-related exposures reported to poison control centers. METHODS: Retrospective analysis of population-based intentional methadone exposures (in persons 18 years of age and older) reported to the American Association of Poison Control Centers' National Poison Data System. A quasi-experimental design looking at one year before and after the March 16, 2020 loosening of methadone take-home regulations. Severity of exposure was assessed by: disposition (discharged from emergency department, admitted to non-critical care versus critical care units), medical treatments received, and medical outcomes (no effect, minor effect, moderate effect, major effect, death). One tail Student t-test and Chi Square were used; p significance was <0.05. RESULTS: The number of adult intentional exposures involving methadone increased by 5.3% in the year following the change in federal regulations (p<0.05). There was no statistically significant difference in distribution of age, gender, whether exposures involved methadone-only or methadone plus other substances, therapies administered or hospitalizations. There was no difference in overall distribution of medical outcomes, including deaths. CONCLUSIONS: Although the number of exposures involving methadone increased post-regulation change, the severity of exposures remained unchanged. Various additional factors (Medicare and Medicaid expansion; increased number of opioid treatment programs) may have also contributed to this increase. As federal officials consider possible permanent changes to the methadone regulations, it is important to evaluate potential related risks and benefits. This study lends support to the consideration that loosening of methadone regulations does not necessarily lead to a substantial increase in severity of exposures.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , Poison Control Centers , Adolescent , Adult , Aged , Humans , Medicare , Methadone/therapeutic use , Retrospective Studies , United States/epidemiology
18.
Prev Chronic Dis ; 19: E04, 2022 01 27.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1689851

ABSTRACT

The purpose of our study was to understand the capacity of Silver Sneakers, a federally funded and community-based exercise program, to serve older adults (aged ≥65 years) in our mixed rural/urban catchment area of central Pennsylvania. We identified 139 registered Silver Sneakers program locations; of these, 18 were closed because of the COVID-19 pandemic. We used questionnaires to interview Silver Sneakers program staff by telephone (n = 80 of 121, response rate of 66%). Most programs were offered by private gyms (52%). Fewer programs were in rural counties than in urban counties. Most facilities reported that membership was equally mixed by gender, and member retention strategies included program perks and promotion of Silver Sneakers as a Medicare benefit. Most (89%) programs were able to continue classes during the pandemic, in part by adapting to video platforms. Overall, Silver Sneakers programs offer a sustainable option to facilitate access to exercise programs and reduce barriers to physical activity among older adults in our catchment area.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , Exercise , Aged , Exercise Therapy , Humans , Medicare , Pandemics , Pennsylvania , SARS-CoV-2 , United States
19.
Am J Manag Care ; 28(2): 75-80, 2022 02.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1687934

ABSTRACT

OBJECTIVES: The understanding of which factors are associated with inability to access health care services due to the COVID-19 pandemic is limited. We aimed to examine factors associated with being unable to access health care due to the pandemic among Medicare beneficiaries. STUDY DESIGN: A cross-sectional study. METHODS: We analyzed the summer and fall 2020 Medicare Current Beneficiary Survey COVID-19 Rapid Response Supplement Questionnaire data. Our study included community-dwelling Medicare beneficiaries 65 years and older (summer: n = 8751; fall: n = 7421). Logistic regressions were used to examine factors (eg, sociodemographics, comorbidities) associated with being unable to access health care services due to the pandemic. RESULTS: Approximately 20.9% and 7.5% of the beneficiaries reported they were unable to access health care services due to the pandemic in the summer and fall of 2020, respectively. The most frequent types of services that beneficiaries were unable to access were dental care (summer, 45.5%; fall, 35.1%) and regular check-ups (summer, 35.9%; fall, 46.1%). Beneficiaries who reported a higher income (income ≥ $25,000) (summer: odds ratio [OR], 1.55; P < .001; fall: OR, 1.52; P = .002) or speaking English at home (summer: OR, 1.50; P = .016; fall: OR, 1.53; P = .082) were more likely to report being unable to access services than their counterparts (lower income or speaking a language other than English at home). Beneficiaries with at least 4 chronic conditions were unable to access health care significantly more often than those with 1 or no conditions. CONCLUSIONS: Given that sociodemographics and comorbidity burden contributed to the disparities that we observed in accessibility of health care services due to the pandemic, these findings can allow decision makers to target resource allocation and outreach efforts to those populations most at risk.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , Telemedicine , Aged , Cross-Sectional Studies , Humans , Medicare , Pandemics , SARS-CoV-2 , United States
20.
J Infect Dis ; 225(4): 567-577, 2022 02 15.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1684702

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND: We evaluated prevaccine pandemic period COVID-19 death risk factors among nursing home (NH) residents. METHODS: In a retrospective cohort study covering Medicare fee-for-service beneficiaries aged ≥65 years residing in US NHs, we estimated adjusted hazard ratios (HRs) using multivariate Cox proportional hazards regressions. RESULTS: Among 608251 elderly NH residents, 57398 (9.4%) died of COVID-19-related illness 1 April to 22 December 2020; 46.9% (26893) of these deaths occurred without prior COVID-19 hospitalizations. We observed a consistently increasing age trend for COVID-19 deaths. Racial/ethnic minorities shared similarly high risk of NH COVID-19 deaths with whites. NH facility characteristics for-profit ownership and low health inspection ratings were associated with higher death risk. Resident characteristics (male [HR, 1.69], end-stage renal disease [HR, 1.42], cognitive impairment [HR, 1.34], and immunocompromised status [HR, 1.20]) were death risk factors. Other individual-level characteristics were less predictive of death than in community-dwelling population. CONCLUSIONS: Low NH health inspection ratings and private ownership contributed to COVID-19 death risks. Nearly half of NH COVID-19 deaths occurred without prior COVID-19 hospitalization and older residents were less likely to get hospitalized with COVID-19. No substantial differences were observed by race/ethnicity and socioeconomic status for NH COVID-19 deaths.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , Nursing Homes , Aged , COVID-19/mortality , Hospitalization , Humans , Male , Medicare , Proportional Hazards Models , Retrospective Studies , Risk Factors , United States/epidemiology
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