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1.
Am J Surg ; 223(1): 176-181, 2022 Jan.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1568479

ABSTRACT

OBJECTIVES: Perioperative inefficiency can increase cost. We describe a process improvement initiative that addressed preoperative delays on an academic vascular surgery service. METHODS: First case vascular surgeries from July 2019-January 2020 were retrospectively reviewed for delays, defined as late arrival to the operating room (OR). A stakeholder group spearheaded by a surgeon-informaticist analyzed this process and implemented a novel electronic medical records (EMR) preoperative tool with improved preoperative workflow and role delegation; results were reviewed for 3 months after implementation. RESULTS: 57% of cases had first case on-time starts with average delay of 19 min. Inappropriate preoperative orders were identified as a dominant delay source (average delay = 38 min). Three months post-implementation, 53% of first cases had on-time starts with average delay of 11 min (P < 0.05). No delays were due to missing orders. CONCLUSIONS: Inconsistent preoperative workflows led to inappropriate orders and delays, increasing cost and decreasing quality. A novel EMR tool subsequently reduced delays with projected savings of $1,200/case. Workflow standardization utilizing informatics can increase efficiency, raising the value of surgical care.


Subject(s)
Cost Savings/statistics & numerical data , Efficiency, Organizational/economics , Medical Informatics , Operating Rooms/organization & administration , Vascular Surgical Procedures/organization & administration , Academic Medical Centers/economics , Academic Medical Centers/organization & administration , Academic Medical Centers/statistics & numerical data , Efficiency, Organizational/standards , Efficiency, Organizational/statistics & numerical data , Health Plan Implementation/organization & administration , Health Plan Implementation/statistics & numerical data , Humans , Operating Rooms/economics , Operating Rooms/standards , Operating Rooms/statistics & numerical data , Practice Guidelines as Topic , Program Evaluation , Quality Improvement , Retrospective Studies , Root Cause Analysis/statistics & numerical data , Vascular Surgical Procedures/economics , Vascular Surgical Procedures/statistics & numerical data , Workflow
2.
Ann Vasc Surg ; 76: 1-9, 2021 Oct.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1174100

ABSTRACT

INTRODUCTION: The novel coronavirus SARS-CoV-2 (COVID-19) has spread rapidly since it was identified. We sought to understand its effects on vascular surgery practices stratified by VASCON surgical readiness level and determine how these effects have changed during the course of the pandemic. METHODS: All members of the Vascular and Endovascular Surgery Society were sent electronic surveys questioning the effects of COVID-19 on their practices in the early pandemic in April (EP) and four months later in the pandemic in August (LP) 2020. RESULTS: Response rates were 206/731 (28%) in the EP group and 108/731 (15%) in the LP group (P < 0.0001). Most EP respondents reported VASCON levels less than 3 (168/206,82%), indicating increased hospital limitations while 6/108 (6%) in the LP group reported this level (P < 0.0001). The EP group was more likely to report a lower VASCON level (increased resource limitations), and decreased clinic, hospital and emergency room consults. Despite an increase of average cases/week to pre-COVID-19 levels, 46/108 (43%) of LP report continued decreased compensation, with 57% reporting more than 10% decrease. Respondents in the decreased compensation group were more likely to have reported a VASCON level 3 or lower earlier in the pandemic (P = 0.018). 91/108(84%) of LP group have treated COVID-19 patients for thromboembolic events, most commonly acute limb ischemia (76/108) and acute DVT (76/108). While the majority of respondents are no longer delaying the vascular surgery cases, 76/108 (70%) feel that vascular patient care has suffered due to earlier delays, and 36/108 (33%) report a backlog of cases caused by the pandemic. CONCLUSIONS: COVID-19 had a profound effect on vascular surgery practices earlier in the pandemic, resulting in continued detrimental effects on the provision of vascular care as well as compensation received by vascular surgeons.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , Delivery of Health Care/trends , Practice Patterns, Physicians'/trends , Surgeons/trends , Vascular Surgical Procedures/trends , Adult , Delivery of Health Care/economics , Fee-for-Service Plans/trends , Female , Health Care Surveys , Humans , Income/trends , Male , Middle Aged , Practice Patterns, Physicians'/economics , Quality Indicators, Health Care/trends , Surgeons/economics , Time Factors , Vascular Surgical Procedures/adverse effects , Vascular Surgical Procedures/economics
3.
J Vasc Surg ; 73(6): 1869-1875, 2021 06.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1155568

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND: The coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic has had an unprecedented impact on the healthcare system in the United States. The redistribution of resources and suspension of elective procedures and other services has resulted in financial stress across all service lines. The financial effects on the practice of vascular surgery have not yet been quantified. We hypothesized that vascular surgery divisions have experienced losses affecting the hospital and professional sides that will not be recoupable without significant productivity increases. METHODS: Administrative claims data for clinical services performed by the vascular surgery division at a tertiary medical center for March and April 2019 and for March and April 2020 were analyzed. These claims were separated into two categories: hospital claims (inpatient and outpatient) and professional claims (professional reimbursement for all services provided). Medicare reimbursement methods were used to assign financial value: diagnosis-related group for inpatient services, ambulatory payment classification for outpatient services, and the Medicare physician fee schedule for professional reimbursement and work relative value units (wRVUs). Reimbursements and productivity (wRVUs) were compared between the two periods. A financial model was created to determine the increase in future productivity over baseline required to mitigate the losses incurred during the pandemic. RESULTS: A total of 11,317 vascular surgery claims were reviewed. Hospital reimbursement during the pandemic decreased from $4,982,114 to $2,649,521 (-47%) overall (inpatient, from $3,505,775 to $2,128,133 [-39%]; outpatient, from $1,476,339 to $521,388 [-65%]) and professional reimbursement decreased from $933,897 to $430,967 (-54%) compared with the same period in 2019. Professional productivity as measured by wRVUs sustained a similar decline from 10,478 wRVUs to 5386 wRVUs (-51%). Modeling sensitivity analyses demonstrated that if a vascular division were able to increase inpatient and outpatient revenue to greater than prepandemic levels by 10%, 5%, or 3%, it would take 9, 19, or 31 months, respectively, for the hospital to recover their pandemic-associated losses. Similarly, professional reimbursement recovery would require 11, 20, or 36 months with corresponding increases in productivity. CONCLUSIONS: The COVID-19 pandemic has had profound and lasting effects on the world in terms of lives lost and financial hardships. The financial effects on vascular surgery divisions has resulted in losses ranging from 39% to 65% compared with the prepandemic period in the previous year. Because the complete mitigation of losses is not feasible in the short term, alternative and novel strategies are needed to financially sustain the vascular division and hospital during a prolonged recovery period.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , Tertiary Care Centers/economics , Vascular Surgical Procedures/economics , Humans , United States
4.
J Vasc Surg ; 73(1): 4-11.e2, 2021 01.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-863655

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND: We sought to understand the effects of coronavirus disease-2019 (COVID-19) on vascular surgery practices as related to the Vascular Activity Condition (VASCON) scale. METHODS: All members of the Vascular and Endovascular Surgery Society were surveyed on the effects of COVID-19 in their practices, educational programs, and self-reported grading of their surgical acuity level using the VASCON scale. RESULTS: Total response rate was 28% (206/731). Most respondents (99.5%) reported an effect of COVID-19 on their practice, and most were VASCON3 or lower level. Most reported a decrease in clinic referrals, inpatient/emergency room consults, and case volume (P < .00001). Twelve percent of respondents have been deployed to provide critical care and 11% medical care for COVID-19 patients. More than one-quarter (28%) face decreased compensation or salary. The majority of respondents feel vascular education is affected; however, most feel graduates will finish with the necessary experiences. There were significant differences in answers in lower VASCON levels respondents, with this group demonstrating a statistically significant decreased operative volume, vascular surgery referrals, and increased hospital and procedure limitations. CONCLUSIONS: Nearly all vascular surgeons studied are affected by the COVID-19 pandemic with decreased clinical and operative volume, educational opportunities for trainees, and compensation issues. The VASCON level may be helpful in determining surgical readiness.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , Practice Management, Medical/trends , Surgeons/trends , Vascular Surgical Procedures/trends , Workload , Appointments and Schedules , Education, Medical, Graduate/trends , Health Care Surveys , Humans , Practice Management, Medical/economics , Referral and Consultation/trends , Salaries and Fringe Benefits/trends , Surgeons/economics , Surgeons/education , Time Factors , Vascular Surgical Procedures/economics , Vascular Surgical Procedures/education , Workload/economics
5.
Ann Vasc Surg ; 70: 306-313, 2021 Jan.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-739733

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND: The situation of coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic in the Indian subcontinent is worsening. In Bangladesh, rate of new infection has been on the rise despite limited testing facility. Constraint of resources in the health care sector makes the fight against COVID-19 more challenging for a developing country like Bangladesh. Vascular surgeons find themselves in a precarious situation while delivering professional services during this crisis. With the limited number of dedicated vascular surgeons in Bangladesh, it is important to safeguard these professionals without compromising emergency vascular care services in the long term. To this end, we at the National Institute of Cardiovascular Diseases and Hospital, Dhaka, have developed a working guideline for our vascular surgeons to follow during the COVID-19 pandemic. The guideline takes into account high vascular work volume against limited resources in the country. METHODS: A total of 307 emergency vascular patients were dealt with in the first 4 COVID-19 months (March through June 2020) according to the working guideline, and the results were compared with the 4 pre-COVID-19 months. Vascular trauma, dialysis access complications, and chronic limb-threatening ischemia formed the main bulk of the patient population. Vascular health care workers were regularly screened for COVID-19 infection. RESULTS: There was a 38% decrease in the number of patients in the COVID-19 period. Treatment outcome in COVID-19 months were comparable with that in the pre-COVID-19 months except that limb loss in the chronic limb-threatening ischemia patients was higher. COVID-19 infection among the vascular health care professionals was low. CONCLUSIONS: Vascular surgery practice guidelines customized for the high work volume and limited resources of the National Institute of Cardiovascular Diseases and Hospital, Dhaka were effective in delivering emergency care during COVID-19 pandemic, ensuring safety of the caregivers. Despite the fact that similar guidelines exist in different parts of the world, we believe that the present one is still relevant on the premises of a deepening COVID-19 crisis in a developing country like Bangladesh.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , Developing Countries , Hospitals, High-Volume/standards , Outcome and Process Assessment, Health Care/standards , Practice Patterns, Physicians'/standards , Surgeons/standards , Vascular Surgical Procedures/standards , Workload/standards , Bangladesh , Developing Countries/economics , Health Care Costs/standards , Humans , Outcome and Process Assessment, Health Care/economics , Practice Patterns, Physicians'/economics , Surgeons/economics , Time Factors , Treatment Outcome , Vascular Surgical Procedures/economics , Workload/economics
6.
J Vasc Surg ; 72(4): 1161-1165, 2020 10.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-133517

ABSTRACT

The appropriate focus in managing the COVID-19 pandemic in the United States has been addressing access and delivery of care to the population affected by the outbreak. All sectors of the U.S. economy have been significantly affected, including physicians. Physician groups of all specialties and sizes have experienced the financial effects of the pandemic. Hospitals have received billions of dollars to support and enable them to manage emergencies and cover the costs of the disruption. However, many vascular surgeons are under great financial pressure because of the postponement of all nonemergency procedures. The federal government has announced a myriad of programs in the form of grants and loans to reimburse physicians for some of their expenses and loss of revenue. It is more than likely that unless the public health emergency subsides significantly, many practices will experience dire consequences without additional financial assistance. We have attempted to provide a concise listing of such programs and resources available to assist vascular surgeons who are small businesses in accessing these opportunities.


Subject(s)
Appointments and Schedules , Compensation and Redress , Coronavirus Infections/economics , Elective Surgical Procedures/economics , Income , Insurance, Health, Reimbursement/economics , Pandemics/economics , Pneumonia, Viral/economics , Surgeons/economics , Vascular Surgical Procedures/economics , COVID-19 , Compensation and Redress/legislation & jurisprudence , Coronavirus Infections/diagnosis , Coronavirus Infections/epidemiology , Coronavirus Infections/therapy , Elective Surgical Procedures/legislation & jurisprudence , Financing, Government/economics , Financing, Government/legislation & jurisprudence , Health Services Needs and Demand/economics , Health Services Needs and Demand/legislation & jurisprudence , Humans , Insurance, Health, Reimbursement/legislation & jurisprudence , Pneumonia, Viral/diagnosis , Pneumonia, Viral/epidemiology , Pneumonia, Viral/therapy , Policy Making , Surgeons/legislation & jurisprudence , United States/epidemiology , Vascular Surgical Procedures/legislation & jurisprudence
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