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1.
J Cyst Fibros ; 20 Suppl 3: 23-28, 2021 12.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1587339

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND: The COVID-19 pandemic forced cystic fibrosis (CF) care programs to rapidly shift from in-person care delivery to telehealth. Our objective was to provide a qualitative exploration of facilitators and barriers to: 1) implementing high-quality telehealth and 2) navigating reimbursement for telehealth services. METHODS: We used data from the 2020 State of Care CF Program Survey (n=286 U.S. care programs) administered in August-September to identify two cohorts of programs, with variation in telehealth quality (n=12 programs) and reimbursement (n=8 programs). We conducted focus groups and semi-structured interviews with CF program directors and coordinators in December 2020, approximately 9 months from onset of the pandemic. We used the Consolidated Framework for Implementation Research to identify facilitators and barriers of implementation, and inductive thematic analysis to identify facilitators and barriers of reimbursement. RESULTS: Factors differentiating programs with greater and lower perceived telehealth quality included telehealth characteristics (perceived advantage over in-person care, cost, platform quality); external influences (needs and resources of those served by the CF program), characteristics of the CF program (compatibility with workflows, relative priority, available resources); characteristics of team members (individual stage of change), and processes for implementation (engaging patients and teams). Reimbursement barriers included documentation to optimize billing; reimbursement of multi-disciplinary team members, remote monitoring, and telephone-only telehealth; and lower volume of patients. CONCLUSIONS: A number of factors are associated with successful implementation and reimbursement of telehealth. Future efforts should provide guidance and incentives that support telehealth delivery and infrastructure, share best practices across CF programs, and remove barriers.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , Communication Barriers , Cystic Fibrosis , Disease Transmission, Infectious/prevention & control , Health Services Accessibility , Patient Participation , Telemedicine , Adult , Attitude of Health Personnel , COVID-19/epidemiology , COVID-19/prevention & control , Child , Cystic Fibrosis/epidemiology , Cystic Fibrosis/psychology , Cystic Fibrosis/therapy , Health Services Accessibility/organization & administration , Health Services Accessibility/trends , Humans , Needs Assessment , Patient Participation/methods , Patient Participation/psychology , Qualitative Research , Quality Improvement , Reimbursement Mechanisms , SARS-CoV-2 , Telemedicine/economics , Telemedicine/methods , Telemedicine/standards , United States/epidemiology
2.
J Cyst Fibros ; 20 Suppl 3: 16-20, 2021 12.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1587336

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND: Chronic care delivery models faced unprecedented financial pressures, with a reduction of in-person visits and adoption of telehealth during the COVID-19 pandemic. We sought to understand the reported financial impact of pandemic-related changes to the cystic fibrosis (CF) care model. METHODS: The U.S. CF Foundation State of Care surveys fielded in Summer 2020 (SoC1) and Spring 2021 (SoC2) included questions for CF programs on the impact of pandemic-related restrictions on overall finances, staffing, licensure, and reimbursement of telehealth services. Descriptive analyses were conducted based on program type. RESULTS: Among the 286 respondents (128 pediatric, 118 adult, 40 affiliate), the majority (62%) reported a detrimental financial impact to their CF care program in SoC1, though fewer (42%) reported detrimental impacts in SoC2. The most common reported impacts in SoC1 were redeployment of clinical staff (68%), furloughs (52%), hiring freezes (51%), decreases in salaries (34%), or layoffs (10%). Reports of lower reimbursement for telehealth increased from 30% to 40% from SoC1 to SoC2. Projecting towards the future, only a minority (17%) of program directors in SoC2 felt that financial support would remain below pre-pandemic levels. CONCLUSIONS: The COVID-19 pandemic resulted in financial strain on the CF care model, including challenges with reimbursement for telehealth services and reductions in staffing due to institutional changes. Planning for the future of CF care model needs to address these short-term impacts, particularly to ensure a lack of interruption in high-quality multi-disciplinary care.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , Continuity of Patient Care , Cystic Fibrosis , Health Services Accessibility , Models, Organizational , Telemedicine , Adult , COVID-19/epidemiology , COVID-19/prevention & control , Child , Continuity of Patient Care/organization & administration , Continuity of Patient Care/standards , Costs and Cost Analysis , Cystic Fibrosis/economics , Cystic Fibrosis/epidemiology , Cystic Fibrosis/therapy , Health Services Accessibility/organization & administration , Health Services Accessibility/trends , Health Services Needs and Demand , Humans , Organizational Innovation , Personnel Staffing and Scheduling/organization & administration , Reimbursement Mechanisms/trends , SARS-CoV-2 , Telemedicine/economics , Telemedicine/methods , United States/epidemiology
3.
Lancet ; 398(10294): 41-52, 2021 07 03.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1575225

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND: Little evidence is available on the use of telehealth for antenatal care. In response to the COVID-19 pandemic, we developed and implemented a new antenatal care schedule integrating telehealth across all models of pregnancy care. To inform this clinical initiative, we aimed to assess the effectiveness and safety of telehealth in antenatal care. METHODS: We analysed routinely collected health data on all women giving birth at Monash Health, a large health service in Victoria (Australia), using an interrupted time-series design. We assessed the impact of telehealth integration into antenatal care from March 23, 2020, across low-risk and high-risk care models. Allowing a 1-month implementation period from March 23, 2020, we compared the first 3 months of telehealth integrated care delivered between April 20 and July 26, 2020, with conventional care delivered between Jan 1, 2018, and March 22, 2020. The primary outcomes were detection and outcomes of fetal growth restriction, pre-eclampsia, and gestational diabetes. Secondary outcomes were stillbirth, neonatal intensive care unit admission, and preterm birth (birth before 37 weeks' gestation). FINDINGS: Between Jan 1, 2018, and March 22, 2020, 20 031 women gave birth at Monash Health during the conventional care period and 2292 women gave birth during the telehealth integrated care period. Of 20 154 antenatal consultations provided in the integrated care period, 10 731 (53%) were delivered via telehealth. Overall, compared with the conventional care period, no significant differences were identified in the integrated care period with regard to the number of babies with fetal growth restriction (birthweight below the 3rd percentile; 2% in the integrated care period vs 2% in the conventional care period, p=0·72, for low-risk care models; 5% in the integrated care period vs 5% in the conventional care period, p=0·50 for high-risk care models), number of stillbirths (1% vs 1%, p=0·79; 2% vs 2%, p=0·70), or pregnancies complicated by pre-eclampsia (3% vs 3%, p=0·70; 9% vs 7%, p=0·15), or gestational diabetes (22% vs 22%, p=0·89; 30% vs 26%, p=0·06). Interrupted time-series analysis showed a significant reduction in preterm birth among women in high-risk models (-0·68% change in incidence per week [95% CI -1·37 to -0·002]; p=0·049), but no significant differences were identified in other outcome measures for low-risk or high-risk care models after telehealth integration compared with conventional care. INTERPRETATION: Telehealth integrated antenatal care enabled the reduction of in-person consultations by 50% without compromising pregnancy outcomes. This care model can help to minimise in-person interactions during the COVID-19 pandemic, but should also be considered in post-pandemic health-care models. FUNDING: None.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , Pregnancy Complications/therapy , Prenatal Care/organization & administration , Telemedicine/economics , Telemedicine/organization & administration , Adult , Female , Humans , Interrupted Time Series Analysis , Pregnancy , Retrospective Studies , Victoria
4.
Lang Speech Hear Serv Sch ; 52(3): 769-775, 2021 07 07.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1545676

ABSTRACT

Purpose The COVID-19 pandemic has necessitated a quick shift to virtual speech-language services; however, only a small percentage of speech-language pathologists (SLPs) had previously engaged in telepractice. The purpose of this clinical tutorial is (a) to describe how the Early Language and Literacy Acquisition in Children with Hearing Loss study, a longitudinal study involving speech-language assessment with children with and without hearing loss, transitioned from in-person to virtual assessment and (b) to provide tips for optimizing virtual assessment procedures. Method We provide an overview of our decision making during the transition to virtual assessment. Additionally, we report on a pilot study that calculated test-retest reliability from in-person to virtual assessment for a subset of our preschool-age participants. Results Our pilot study revealed that most speech-language measures had high or adequate test-retest reliability when administered in a virtual environment. When low reliability occurred, generally the measures were timed. Conclusions Speech-language assessment can be conducted successfully in a virtual environment for preschool children with hearing loss. We provide suggestions for clinicians to consider when preparing for virtual assessment sessions. Supplemental Material https://doi.org/10.23641/asha.14787834.


Subject(s)
Child Language , Education of Hearing Disabled , Educational Measurement/methods , Hearing Loss , Speech-Language Pathology/methods , Telemedicine/methods , COVID-19 , Child, Preschool , Educational Measurement/economics , Family , Humans , Pandemics , Pilot Projects , Speech-Language Pathology/economics , Surveys and Questionnaires , Telemedicine/economics
5.
Ann Cardiol Angeiol (Paris) ; 70(5): 317-321, 2021 Nov.
Article in French | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1525669

ABSTRACT

Telemedicine has been recognized since 2010 as a constitutive element of care, however, it was not until 2016 that the first national experiments were able to be launched with the aim of validating a framework allowing a possible rapid passage in the common right. These experiments, which are due to end in December 2021, have succeeded in involving more than 100,000 patients, mainly suffering from cardiac pathologies. The arrival of COVID-19 has made it possible to measure the usefulness of practices at a distance both from teleconsultation and telemonitoring, with the appearance of organizational and technical innovations that must now be maintained and developed in order to integrate the telemedicine of tomorrow into our actual medicine.


Subject(s)
COVID-19/epidemiology , Pandemics , Telemedicine/organization & administration , COVID-19/therapy , Diabetes Mellitus/therapy , Heart Failure/therapy , Humans , Kidney Failure, Chronic/therapy , Patient Satisfaction , Remote Consultation/methods , Remote Consultation/organization & administration , Respiratory Insufficiency/therapy , Telemedicine/economics , Telemedicine/trends
10.
Curr Opin Allergy Clin Immunol ; 21(5): 448-454, 2021 10 01.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1320331

ABSTRACT

PURPOSE OF REVIEW: Digital medicine (mHealth) aims to help patients and healthcare providers (HCPs) improve and facilitate the provision of patient care. It encompasses equipment/connected medical devices, mHealth services and mHealth apps (apps). An updated review on digital health in anaphylaxis is proposed. RECENT FINDINGS: In anaphylaxis, mHealth is used in electronic health records and registries.It will greatly benefit from the new International Classification of Diseases-11 rules and artificial intelligence. Telehealth has been revolutionised by the coronavirus disease 2019 pandemic, and lessons learnt should be extended to shared decision making in anaphylaxis. Very few nonvalidated apps exist and there is an urgent need to develop and validate such tools. SUMMARY: Although digital health appears to be of great importance in anaphylaxis, it is still insufficiently used.


Subject(s)
Mobile Applications , Telemedicine , Anaphylaxis/therapy , Electronic Health Records , Humans , Quality Control , Registries , Telemedicine/economics , Utilization Review
11.
Epilepsy Res ; 176: 106689, 2021 10.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1303518

ABSTRACT

OBJECTIVE: The objective of this study is to assess the role of prior experience with virtual care (through e-visits) in maintaining continuity in ambulatory epilepsy care during an unprecedented pandemic situation, comparing in person versus e-visit clinic uptake. METHODS: This is an observational study on virtual epilepsy care (through e-visits) over two years, during a pre-COVID period (14 months) continuing into the COVID-19 pandemic period (10 months). For a small initial section of patients seen during the study period a physician survey and a patient satisfaction survey were completed (n = 53). Outcomes of eVisits were analyzed using descriptive statistics. RESULTS: Median numbers of epilepsy clinic visits conducted during the COVID-19 period (27.5 new and 113 follow up) remained similar to the median uptake during the pre-COVID period (28 new and 116 follow up). Prior experience with e-visits for epilepsy yielded smooth transition into the pandemic period, with several other advantages. The majority of eVisits were successful despite technical difficulties and major components of history and management were still easily implemented. Results from patient surveys supported that a significant amount of time and money were saved, which was in keeping with our health-economic analysis. CONCLUSION: Our study is one of the first few reports of fully integrated virtual care in a comprehensive epilepsy clinic starting much before start of the COVID-19 pandemic. The results of our study support the feasibility of using virtual care to deliver specialized outpatient care in a comprehensive epilepsy center.


Subject(s)
COVID-19/epidemiology , Epilepsy/therapy , Telemedicine/methods , User-Computer Interface , Adult , Aged , Efficiency, Organizational , Epilepsy/diagnosis , Epilepsy/economics , Female , Health Care Costs , Health Services Accessibility , Humans , Male , Medical History Taking/methods , Middle Aged , Ontario , Patient Satisfaction , Patient-Centered Care , Telemedicine/economics , Young Adult
12.
Pediatrics ; 148(3)2021 09.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1295545

ABSTRACT

The coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic led to an unprecedented demand for health care at a distance, and telehealth (the delivery of patient care using telecommunications technology) became more widespread. Since our 2018 state-of-the-art review assessing the pediatric telehealth landscape, there have been many changes in technology, policy, payment, and physician and patient acceptance of this care model. Clinical best practices in telehealth, on the other hand, have remained unchanged during this time, with the primary difference being the need to implement them at scale.Because of the pandemic, underlying health system weaknesses that have previously challenged telehealth adoption (including inequitable access to care, unsustainable costs in a fee-for-service system, and a lack of quality metrics for novel care delivery modalities) were simultaneously exacerbated. Higher volume use has provided a new appreciation of how patients from underrepresented backgrounds can benefit from or be disadvantaged by the shift toward virtual care. Moving forward, it will be critical to assess which COVID-19 telehealth changes should remain in place or be developed further to ensure children have equitable access to high-quality care.With this review, we aim to (1) depict today's pediatric telehealth practice in an era of digital disruption; (2) describe the people, training, processes, and tools needed for its successful implementation and sustainability; (3) examine health equity implications; and (4) critically review current telehealth policy as well as future policy needs. The American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) is continuing to develop policy, specific practice tips, training modules, checklists, and other detailed resources, which will be available later in 2021.


Subject(s)
COVID-19/epidemiology , Pandemics , Telemedicine , Child , Health Equity , Humans , Patient Acceptance of Health Care , Practice Guidelines as Topic , Program Evaluation , Telemedicine/economics , Telemedicine/legislation & jurisprudence , Telemedicine/organization & administration , Telemedicine/trends
14.
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
17.
J Stroke Cerebrovasc Dis ; 30(7): 105802, 2021 Jul.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1188832

ABSTRACT

While use of telemedicine to guide emergent treatment of ischemic stroke is well established, the COVID-19 pandemic motivated the rapid expansion of care via telemedicine to provide consistent care while reducing patient and provider exposure and preserving personal protective equipment. Temporary changes in re-imbursement, inclusion of home office and patient home environments, and increased access to telehealth technologies by patients, health care staff and health care facilities were key to provide an environment for creative and consistent high-quality stroke care. The continuum of care via telestroke has broadened to include prehospital, inter-facility and intra-facility hospital-based services, stroke telerehabilitation, and ambulatory telestroke. However, disparities in technology access remain a challenge. Preservation of reimbursement and the reduction of regulatory burden that was initiated during the public health emergency will be necessary to maintain expanded patient access to the full complement of telestroke services. Here we outline many of these initiatives and discuss potential opportunities for optimal use of technology in stroke care through and beyond the pandemic.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , Continuity of Patient Care , Delivery of Health Care, Integrated , Ischemic Stroke/therapy , Outcome and Process Assessment, Health Care , Telemedicine , Continuity of Patient Care/economics , Delivery of Health Care, Integrated/economics , Fee-for-Service Plans , Health Care Costs , Healthcare Disparities , Humans , Insurance, Health, Reimbursement , Ischemic Stroke/diagnosis , Ischemic Stroke/economics , Occupational Health , Outcome and Process Assessment, Health Care/economics , Patient Safety , Telemedicine/economics
20.
JAMA Netw Open ; 4(3): e212618, 2021 03 01.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1146714

ABSTRACT

Importance: This study assesses the role of telehealth in the delivery of care at the start of the COVID-19 pandemic. Objectives: To document patterns and costs of ambulatory care in the US before and during the initial stage of the pandemic and to assess how patient, practitioner, community, and COVID-19-related factors are associated with telehealth adoption. Design, Setting, and Participants: This is a cohort study of working-age persons continuously enrolled in private health plans from March 2019 through June 2020. The comparison periods were March to June in 2019 and 2020. Claims data files were provided by Blue Health Intelligence, an independent licensee of the Blue Cross and Blue Shield Association. Data analysis was performed from June to October 2020. Main Outcomes and Measures: Ambulatory encounters (in-person and telehealth) and allowed charges, stratified by characteristics derived from enrollment files, practitioner claims, and community characteristics linked to the enrollee's zip code. Results: A total of 36 568 010 individuals (mean [SD] age, 35.71 [18.77] years; 18 466 557 female individuals [50.5%]) were included in the analysis. In-person contacts decreased by 37% (from 1.63 to 1.02 contacts per enrollee) from 2019 to 2020. During 2020, telehealth visits (0.32 visit per person) accounted for 23.6% of all interactions compared with 0.3% of contacts in 2019. When these virtual contacts were added, the overall COVID-19 era patient and practitioner visit rate was 18% lower than that in 2019 (1.34 vs 1.64 visits per person). Behavioral health encounters were far more likely than medical contacts to take place virtually (46.1% vs 22.1%). COVID-19 prevalence in an area was associated with higher use of telehealth; patients from areas within the top quintile of COVID-19 prevalence during the week of their encounter were 1.34 times more likely to have a telehealth visit compared with those in the lowest quintile (the reference category). Persons living in areas with limited social resources were less likely to use telehealth (most vs least socially advantaged neighborhoods, 27.4% vs 19.9% usage rates). Per enrollee medical care costs decreased by 15% between 2019 and 2020 (from $358.32 to $306.04 per person per month). During 2020, those with 1 or more COVID-19-related service (1 470 721 members) had more than 3 times the medical costs ($1701 vs $544 per member per month) than those without COVID-19-related services. Persons with 1 or more telehealth visits in 2020 had considerably higher costs than persons having only in-person ambulatory contacts ($2214.10 vs $1337.78 for the COVID-19-related subgroup and $735.87 vs $456.41 for the non-COVID-19 subgroup). Conclusions and Relevance: This study of a large cohort of patients enrolled in US health plans documented patterns of care at the onset of COVID-19. The findings are relevant to policy makers, payers, and practitioners as they manage the use of telehealth during the pandemic and afterward.


Subject(s)
Ambulatory Care , COVID-19 , Practice Patterns, Physicians' , Telemedicine , Adult , Ambulatory Care/economics , Ambulatory Care/methods , Ambulatory Care/statistics & numerical data , COVID-19/epidemiology , COVID-19/prevention & control , Cohort Studies , Costs and Cost Analysis , Female , Humans , Infection Control/methods , Insurance, Health/statistics & numerical data , Male , Organizational Innovation/economics , Practice Patterns, Physicians'/economics , Practice Patterns, Physicians'/organization & administration , Practice Patterns, Physicians'/statistics & numerical data , SARS-CoV-2 , Telemedicine/economics , Telemedicine/organization & administration , Telemedicine/statistics & numerical data , United States/epidemiology
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