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3.
J Am Board Fam Med ; 34(3): 489-497, 2021.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1259317

ABSTRACT

INTRODUCTION: Coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) disrupted and undermined primary care delivery. The goal of this study was to examine the financial impacts the pandemic has had on primary care clinicians and practices. METHODS: The American Academy of Family Physicians National Research Network and the Robert Graham Center distributed weekly surveys from March 27, 2020, through June 15, 2020, to a network of more than 1960 physicians. Responses to the question, "Could you please tell us about any financial impact the COVID-19 pandemic has had on your practice, if any?" were analyzed using a grounded theory approach of qualitative analysis. The number of unique respondents who answered the financial impact question totaled 461 over the 12 weeks. RESULTS: Severe declines in patient visits, causing drastic revenue reductions, greatly impacted the ability to serve patients. Primary care clinicians and practices experienced significant changes in several areas about financial implications: patient visits, financial strain, staffing and telehealth. DISCUSSION: Preliminary findings revealed that even with Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security Act, also known as CARES Act, funding, business viability remains questionable for some primary care practices. CONCLUSIONS: Low patient visits directly resulted in decreased revenues, which in turn, impacted staffing decisions and fueled telehealth implementation. It is difficult to predict whether patient visits will increase after June. Alternate payment models could provide some financial stability and address business viability.


Subject(s)
COVID-19/economics , Pandemics/economics , Primary Health Care/economics , Humans , Telemedicine , United States
4.
BMC Med ; 19(1): 127, 2021 06 01.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1249556

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND: Reducing poverty and improving access to health care are two of the most effective actions to decrease maternal mortality, and conditional cash transfer (CCT) programmes act on both. The aim of this study was to evaluate the effects of one of the world's largest CCT (the Brazilian Bolsa Familia Programme (BFP)) on maternal mortality during a period of 11 years. METHODS: The study had an ecological longitudinal design and used all 2548 Brazilian municipalities with vital statistics of adequate quality during 2004-2014. BFP municipal coverage was classified into four levels, from low to consolidated, and its duration effects were measured using the average municipal coverage of previous years. We used negative binomial multivariable regression models with fixed-effects specifications, adjusted for all relevant demographic, socioeconomic, and healthcare variables. RESULTS: BFP was significantly associated with reductions of maternal mortality proportionally to its levels of coverage and years of implementation, with a rate ratio (RR) reaching 0.88 (95%CI 0.81-0.95), 0.84 (0.75-0.96) and 0.83 (0.71-0.99) for intermediate, high and consolidated BFP coverage over the previous 11 years. The BFP duration effect was stronger among young mothers (RR 0.77; 95%CI 0.67-0.96). BFP was also associated with reductions in the proportion of pregnant women with no prenatal visits (RR 0.73; 95%CI 0.69-0.77), reductions in hospital case-fatality rate for delivery (RR 0.78; 95%CI 0.66-0.94) and increases in the proportion of deliveries in hospital (RR 1.05; 95%CI 1.04-1.07). CONCLUSION: Our findings show that a consolidated and durable CCT coverage could decrease maternal mortality, and these long-term effects are stronger among poor mothers exposed to CCT during their childhood and adolescence, suggesting a CCT inter-generational effect. Sustained CCT coverage could reduce health inequalities and contribute to the achievement of the Sustainable Development Goal 3.1, and should be preserved during the current global economic crisis due to the COVID-19 pandemic.


Subject(s)
Maternal Mortality/trends , Prenatal Care/economics , Primary Health Care/economics , Public Assistance/economics , Adolescent , Adult , Brazil , COVID-19/economics , Female , Financing, Government , Humans , Poverty/economics , Pregnancy , SARS-CoV-2
5.
Milbank Q ; 99(2): 340-368, 2021 06.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1249380

ABSTRACT

Policy Points Telehealth has many potential advantages during an infectious disease outbreak such as the COVID-19 pandemic, and the COVID-19 pandemic has accelerated the shift to telehealth as a prominent care delivery mode. Not all health care providers and patients are equally ready to take part in the telehealth revolution, which raises concerns for health equity during and after the COVID-19 pandemic. Without proactive efforts to address both patient- and provider-related digital barriers associated with socioeconomic status, the wide-scale implementation of telehealth amid COVID-19 may reinforce disparities in health access in already marginalized and underserved communities. To ensure greater telehealth equity, policy changes should address barriers faced overwhelmingly by marginalized patient populations and those who serve them. CONTEXT: The COVID-19 pandemic has catalyzed fundamental shifts across the US health care delivery system, including a rapid transition to telehealth. Telehealth has many potential advantages, including maintaining critical access to care while keeping both patients and providers safe from unnecessary exposure to the coronavirus. However, not all health care providers and patients are equally ready to take part in this digital revolution, which raises concerns for health equity during and after the COVID-19 pandemic. METHODS: The study analyzed data about small primary care practices' telehealth use and barriers to telehealth use collected from rapid-response surveys administered by the New York City Department of Health and Mental Hygiene's Bureau of Equitable Health Systems and New York University from mid-April through mid-June 2020 as part of the city's efforts to understand how primary care practices were responding to the COVID-19 pandemic following New York State's stay-at-home order on March 22. We focused on small primary care practices because they represent 40% of primary care providers and are disproportionately located in low-income, minority or immigrant areas that were more severely impacted by COVID-19. To examine whether telehealth use and barriers differed based on the socioeconomic characteristics of the communities served by these practices, we used the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention Social Vulnerability Index (SVI) to stratify respondents as being in high-SVI or low-SVI areas. We then characterized respondents' telehealth use and barriers to adoption by using means and proportions with 95% confidence intervals. In addition to a primary analysis using pooled data across the five waves of the survey, we performed sensitivity analyses using data from respondents who only took one survey, first wave only, and the last two waves only. FINDINGS: While all providers rapidly shifted to telehealth, there were differences based on community characteristics in both the primary mode of telehealth used and the types of barriers experienced by providers. Providers in high-SVI areas were almost twice as likely as providers in low-SVI areas to use telephones as their primary telehealth modality (41.7% vs 23.8%; P <.001). The opposite was true for video, which was used as the primary telehealth modality by 18.7% of providers in high-SVI areas and 33.7% of providers in low-SVI areas (P <0.001). Providers in high-SVI areas also faced more patient-related barriers and fewer provider-related barriers than those in low-SVI areas. CONCLUSIONS: Between April and June 2020, telehealth became a prominent mode of primary care delivery in New York City. However, the transition to telehealth did not unfold in the same manner across communities. To ensure greater telehealth equity, policy changes should address barriers faced overwhelmingly by marginalized patient populations and those who serve them.


Subject(s)
Health Equity/standards , Primary Health Care/organization & administration , Telemedicine/methods , Attitude of Health Personnel , COVID-19/epidemiology , Female , Humans , Male , Pandemics , Patient Acceptance of Health Care , Primary Health Care/economics , SARS-CoV-2 , Surveys and Questionnaires , Telemedicine/economics , Telemedicine/statistics & numerical data
6.
J Am Board Fam Med ; 34(2): 424-429, 2021.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1175522

ABSTRACT

The COVID-19 pandemic has added further urgency to the need for primary care payment reform. Fee-for-service payments limit the flexibility of practices to respond to crises and leave practices without sufficient revenues when visit volumes decrease. Historic fee-for-service payments have been inadequate, and prior implementations of prospective payments have encountered challenges; there is a need to bring forward the best available evidence on how to design prospective payments for payers and policymakers. Evidence suggests setting primary care investment at 10% to 12% of the total cost of care, approximately translating to an average $85 per member per month, with significant variation based on age and adjustment for medical and social measures of risk. Enhanced investment in primary care should be aligned across payers and support practice transformation to advanced models of care.


Subject(s)
Health Care Reform/economics , Primary Health Care/economics , Prospective Payment System , COVID-19 , Fee-for-Service Plans , Humans
7.
Am J Public Health ; 111(5): 835-838, 2021 05.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1140580

ABSTRACT

Boston Health Care for the Homeless Program, in Boston, Massachusetts, implemented an intensive telehealth case management intervention combined with emergency financial assistance for 270 homeless-experienced people living with HIV (PLWH) to reduce COVID-19 transmission and promote HIV care retention during Boston's first pandemic peak (March 16-May 31, 2020). Our telehealth model successfully maintained prepandemic case management and primary care contact levels, highlighting the importance of such programs in supporting the care engagement of homeless-experienced PLWH and addressing the dual COVID-19 and HIV epidemics.


Subject(s)
COVID-19/prevention & control , Case Management/trends , HIV Infections/epidemiology , Homeless Persons , Primary Health Care/economics , Telemedicine/economics , Boston/epidemiology , Delivery of Health Care , Electronic Health Records , Female , HIV Infections/drug therapy , HIV Infections/ethnology , Humans , Male , Middle Aged , Retrospective Studies , Socioeconomic Factors
9.
Pan Afr Med J ; 35(Suppl 2): 15, 2020.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1100359

ABSTRACT

The COVID-19 pandemic has impacted on several aspects of human existence including primary care research activities in resource-limited settings. Opportunities exist for initiating multi-disciplinary collaborative research teams that may examine current controversial areas of the disease such as prevention, diagnosis and treatment; experiences of stakeholders like COVID-19 survivors and frontline health workers; and individuals and community experiences during lockdowns. Challenges associated with initiating new studies and/or sustaining old ones and publication of research outcomes may need to be curtailed through alternative strategies and support from stakeholders.


Subject(s)
COVID-19/therapy , Health Services Research/organization & administration , Primary Health Care/organization & administration , Research Design , COVID-19/diagnosis , COVID-19/prevention & control , Cooperative Behavior , Health Services Research/economics , Humans , Interdisciplinary Communication , Primary Health Care/economics
10.
J Am Board Fam Med ; 34(Suppl): S203-S209, 2021 Feb.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1100014

ABSTRACT

The Coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic has laid bare the dis-integrated health care system in the United States. Decades of inattention and dwindling support for public health, coupled with declining access to primary care medical services have left many vulnerable communities without adequate COVID-19 response and recovery capacity. "Health is a Community Affair" is a 1966 effort to build and deploy local communities of solution that align public health, primary care, and community organizations to identify health care problem sheds, and activate local asset sheds. After decades of independent effort, the COVID-19 pandemic offers an opportunity to reunite and align the shared goals of public health and primary care. Imagine how different things might look if we had widely implemented the recommendations from the 1966 report? The ideas and concepts laid out in "Health is a Community Affair" still offer a COVID-19 response and recovery approach. By bringing public health and primary care together in community now, a future that includes a shared vision and combined effort may emerge.


Subject(s)
COVID-19/therapy , Delivery of Health Care, Integrated/organization & administration , Primary Health Care/standards , Public Health/standards , COVID-19/epidemiology , Cooperative Behavior , Delivery of Health Care, Integrated/trends , Humans , Pandemics , Primary Health Care/economics , Primary Health Care/trends , Public Health/economics , Public Health/trends , SARS-CoV-2 , United States/epidemiology
11.
J Am Board Fam Med ; 34(Suppl): S196-S202, 2021 Feb.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1100009

ABSTRACT

INTRODUCTION: Our university hospital-based primary care practices transitioned a budding interest in telehealth to a largely telehealth-based approach in the face of the COVID-19 pandemic. INITIAL WORK: Implementation of telehealth began in 2017. Health system barriers, provider and patient reluctance, and inadequate reimbursement prevented widespread adoption at the time. COVID-19 served as the catalyst to accelerate telehealth efforts. IMPLEMENTATION: COVID-19 resulted in the need for patient care with "social distancing." In addition, due to the pandemic, the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services and other insurers began expanded reimbursement for telehealth. More than 2000 providers received virtual health training in less than 2 weeks. In March 2020, we provided 2376 virtual visits, and in April 5293, which was more than 75 times the number provided in February; 73% of all visits in April were virtual (up from 0.5% in October 2019). As COVID-19 cases receded in May, June, and July, patient demand for virtual visits decreased, but 28% of visits in July were still virtual. LESSONS LEARNED: Several key lessons are important for future efforts regarding clinical implementation: (1) prepare for innovation, (2) cultivate an innovation mindset, (3) standardize (but not too much), (4) technological innovation is necessary but not sufficient, and (5) communicate widely and often.


Subject(s)
COVID-19/epidemiology , Primary Health Care/organization & administration , Telemedicine/statistics & numerical data , Colorado/epidemiology , Humans , Organizational Case Studies , Pandemics , Physical Distancing , Primary Health Care/economics , SARS-CoV-2 , Telemedicine/economics , Telemedicine/trends , United States
12.
J Am Board Fam Med ; 34(Suppl): S170-S178, 2021 Feb.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1099982

ABSTRACT

To respond to the COVID-19 pandemic and recover from its aftermath, primary care teams will face waves of overwhelming demand for information and the need to significantly transform care delivery. INNOVATION: Oregon Health & Science University's primary care team envisioned and implemented the COVID-19 Connected Care Center, a statewide telephone "hotline" service. RESULTS: The hotline has taken more than 5825 calls from patients in 33 of Oregon's 36 counties in less than 3 months. In preliminary survey data, 86% of patients said their questions were answered during the call, 90% would recommend this service, and 70% reported a reduction in stress levels about coronavirus. In qualitative interviews, patients reported their questions answered, short wait times, nurses spent time as needed, and appropriate follow-up was arranged. CONCLUSION: Academic health centers may have the capacity to leverage their extensive resources to rapidly launch a multiphased pandemic response that meets peoples' need for information and access to primary care, while minimizing risk of infection and emergency department use and rapidly supporting primary care teams to make the necessary operational changes to do the same in their communities. Such efforts require external funding in a fee-for-service payment model.


Subject(s)
Hotlines/statistics & numerical data , Primary Health Care/methods , Telemedicine/organization & administration , Academic Medical Centers , COVID-19/diagnosis , COVID-19/epidemiology , Fee-for-Service Plans , Hotlines/organization & administration , Humans , Oregon/epidemiology , Pandemics , Primary Health Care/economics , Qualitative Research , SARS-CoV-2 , Telemedicine/economics , Triage/methods
13.
Int J Environ Res Public Health ; 18(4)2021 02 03.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1060780

ABSTRACT

In Poland, as in many other countries, the use of capitation payment schemes in primary health care is popular. Despite this popularity, the subject literature discusses its role in decreasing the quality of primary medical services. This problem is particularly important during COVID-19, when medical entities provide telehealth services to patients. The objective of the study is to examine the effects of COVID-19 pandemic on the performance of the primary health care providers in Poland under a capitation payment scheme. In this study the authors use data from interviews with personnel of medical entities and financial and administrative reports of primary health care providers in order to identify how this crisis situation impacts the performance of primary health care entities, under capitation payment system. The performance indicators include both the financial and quality measures. Selected to the case study primary health care service providers significantly improved their profitability due to considerable costs savings and reduction of services provided to patients in a time of COVID-19 pandemic. Capitation payment system proved to be inefficient, in the studied pandemic period, in terms of the services provided by primary health care service providers to patients and the funds paid to them, in exchange, by the government entities.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , Capitation Fee , Delivery of Health Care/economics , Primary Health Care/economics , Humans , Pandemics , Poland
14.
J Prim Care Community Health ; 11: 2150132720965080, 2020.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-883540

ABSTRACT

Hospitals and health systems suffer an over-reliance on elective surgeries to remain profitable. As a result, systems report record losses, while demand for emergency room, hospital, and intensive care beds have surged. Studies have admitted that many surgeries are unnecessary, and physician leaders admit that profit plays a role in driving such needless cost and risk. Most diseases are better managed with medications and lifestyle changes. But it pays more to replace a knee than to prevent that replacement. We must bring surgical and medical value closer in-line. Communities of color are suffering disproportionately from coronavirus. The social determinants of health that lead to higher concentrations of hypertension and diabetes can be mitigated by investment in primary care. Such investment has been proven to decrease cost and increase quality of life. However, the United States spends 50% less on primary care, than other developed countries. While showing promise, telehealth is not a panacea. It relies on continued reimbursement parity, and there remains a digital divide. Any meaningful fix will draw the ire from those who profit from such a profligate system. If we want to improve quality, access and equity, while avoiding unnecessary hospitalizations, risky surgeries, and runaway costs, we must invest in primary care.


Subject(s)
Coronavirus Infections/ethnology , Pneumonia, Viral/ethnology , Preventive Medicine , Primary Health Care/economics , Primary Health Care/organization & administration , COVID-19 , Elective Surgical Procedures/economics , Health Services Accessibility , Health Status Disparities , Humans , Medically Underserved Area , Pandemics , Social Determinants of Health/ethnology , United States/epidemiology
15.
Rev Bras Enferm ; 73(suppl 2): e20200256, 2020.
Article in English, Portuguese | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-788928

ABSTRACT

OBJECTIVE: to reflect on the challenges and power of the nursing care process in Primary Health Care in the face of the New Coronavirus, COVID-19, in the Brazilian scenario. METHOD: reflective study, based on the discursive formulation in the context of COVID-19 in Primary Health Care, based on theoretical foundations and practical effects of neoliberal policy, the care process, and Nursing. RESULTS: in Brazil, COVID-19, has caused the need for challenges for strengthening primary care in the face of neoliberal policy, but it presents the potential of dialogue with communities and the (re)creation of the nursing care process through solidary collaborative networks. FINAL CONSIDERATIONS: reflecting on the nursing care process in primary care restores the strength present in the cooperation between health teams and community solidarity networks to change social and health circumstances, despite the challenge imposed by underfunding aggravated by neoliberalism.


Subject(s)
Betacoronavirus , Coronavirus Infections/nursing , Nursing Process/organization & administration , Pneumonia, Viral/nursing , Politics , Primary Health Care/economics , Brazil/epidemiology , COVID-19 , Coronavirus Infections/epidemiology , Global Health , Humans , Nursing Process/economics , Pandemics , Pneumonia, Viral/epidemiology , SARS-CoV-2 , Socioeconomic Factors
17.
Health Aff (Millwood) ; 39(9): 1605-1614, 2020 Sep.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-615681

ABSTRACT

As a result of the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic, virtually all in-person outpatient visits were canceled in many parts of the country between March and May 2020. We sought to estimate the potential impact of COVID-19 on the operating expenses and revenues of primary care practices. Using a microsimulation model incorporating national data on primary care use, staffing, expenditures, and reimbursements, including telemedicine visits, we estimated that over the course of calendar year 2020, primary care practices would be expected to lose 67,774 in gross revenue per full-time-equivalent physician (the difference between 2020 gross revenue with COVID-19 and the anticipated gross revenue if COVID-19 had not occurred). We further estimated that the cost at a national level to neutralize the revenue losses caused by COVID-19 among primary care practices would be $15.1 billion. This could more than double if COVID-19 telemedicine payment policies are not sustained.


Subject(s)
Coronavirus Infections/epidemiology , Health Expenditures , Insurance Coverage/economics , Pandemics/statistics & numerical data , Pneumonia, Viral/epidemiology , Primary Health Care/economics , COVID-19 , Coronavirus Infections/economics , Coronavirus Infections/prevention & control , Delivery of Health Care/organization & administration , Female , Humans , Insurance Coverage/statistics & numerical data , Male , Models, Economic , Pandemics/economics , Pandemics/prevention & control , Pneumonia, Viral/economics , Pneumonia, Viral/prevention & control , Primary Health Care/statistics & numerical data , United States
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