COVID-19-related disruptions in rheumatology care only partly offset by telehealth

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Sumary of COVID-19-related disruptions in rheumatology care only partly offset by telehealth:

  • Rheumatology follow-up visit cancellations climbed to 60% during the height of the COVID-19 pandemic, and were more common for older, rural, Black and Hispanic patients, as well as those of lower socioeconomic status, according to data..
  • Rheumatology follow-up visit cancellations climbed to 60% during the height of the COVID-19 pandemic, and were more common in older, rural, Black and Hispanic patients, as well as those of lower socioeconomic status, according to data..
  • “Little is known, however, about the patterns of health care disruptions and telehealth use in rheumatology practices during the pandemic, or the degree to which vulnerable patient populations have been disproportionately affected,”.
  • of rheumatology specialist providers in the United States, and includes approximately 300 full-time practicing rheumatology clinicians in 92 offices across 27 states..
  • The EHR data also includes patient-reported outcome (PRO) information from the NIH PROMIS system, as well as linked laboratory, pharmacy and health plan claims data..
  • For their study, George and colleagues examined trends in in-person visits compared with telehealth sessions and canceled appointments during three time periods — pre-pandemic, the transition during the pandemic, and the transition post-pandemic..
  • According to the researchers, there were 7,075 visits per week, among 60,002 unique rheumatology patients, during the pre-pandemic period..
  • Meanwhile, older patients, women and those who were Black, Hispanic, lived in rural areas or were of lower socioeconomic status, were associated with a greater likelihood of canceling follow-up appointments….

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