By Tara Templin
As the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) crisis enters its next phase, attention turns to the widespread testing programs needed to resume and maintain normal life activities. Effective prevention and surveillance require testing for active infection with severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) and for antibodies that indicate prior infection and potential immunity. There is an established approach for infected individuals: mild cases self-isolate; and severe cases receive treatment. But what is the appropriate response for people with positive antibody tests?
One of the most challenging environments in health care is the emergency department (ED) A key decision-maker in that context is triage nurses, who assess patient illness severity and influence wait times for medical attention. We gather novel data on the triage process across 108 EDs, including wait times, triage nurse identities and assessments, and detailed patient information and outcomes. Using quasi-random assignment to ED, we find a striking rate of "inversions," where patients who are sicker based on either ex ante information or ex post outcomes are scored as sicker and wait longer than their healthier counterparts.
“We believe health professionals have a moral duty to practice `upstanding’ — intervening as bystanders — in response to sexual harassment and general bias and that this obligation should be described in codes of medical professional ethics and supported within institutional training,” the authors write. While many medical professional societies now mention sexual harassment in their ethical codes, these guidelines fall short in that they do not encourage professionals to respond to the behaviors and intervene when they become aware of discrimination or harassment.
Controversies over diagnostic testing have dominated US headlines about severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2), the novel coronavirus responsible for coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19). Technical challenges with the first test developed by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) left the nation with minimal diagnostic capacity during the first few weeks of the epidemic. The CDC also initially limited access to testing to a narrow group of individuals with known exposure.
Taiwan is 81 miles off the coast of mainland China and was expected to have the second highest number of cases of coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) due to its proximity to and number of flights between China. The country has 23 million citizens of which 850 000 reside in and 404 000 work in China. In 2019, 2.71 million visitors from the mainland traveled to Taiwan. As such, Taiwan has been on constant alert and ready to act on epidemics arising from China ever since the severe acute respiratory syndrome (SARS) epidemic in 2003.
Patients with heart failure (HF) discharged from the hospital are at high risk for death and rehospitalization. Transitional care service interventions attempt to mitigate these risks.
All 3 transitional care interventions examined were more costly and effective than standard care, with NHVs dominating the other 2 interventions. Compared with standard care, NHVs increased QALYs (2.49 vs. 2.25) and costs ($81 327 vs. $76 705), resulting in an ICER of $19 570 per QALY gained.
Vaccine hesitancy, the reluctance or refusal to receive vaccination, is a growing public health problem in the United States and globally. State policies that eliminate nonmedical (“personal belief”) exemptions to childhood vaccination requirements are controversial, and their effectiveness to improve vaccination coverage remains unclear given limited rigorous policy analysis. In 2016, a California policy (Senate Bill 277) eliminated nonmedical exemptions from school entry requirements.
The amount of insulin needed to effectively treat type 2 diabetes worldwide is unknown. It also remains unclear how alternative treatment algorithms would affect insulin use and disability-adjusted life-years (DALYs) averted by insulin use, given that current access to insulin (availability and affordability) in many areas is low. The aim of this study was to compare alternative projections for and consequences of insulin use worldwide under varying treatment algorithms and degrees of insulin access.
The adjusted mortality for care teams with anesthesiologist assistants was 1.6% (95% CI, 1.4 to 1.8) versus 1.7% for care teams with nurse anesthetists (95% CI, 1.7 to 1.7; difference −0.08; 95% CI, −0.3 to 0.1; P = 0.47). Compared to care teams with nurse anesthetists, care teams with anesthesiologist assistants were associated with non–statistically significant decreases in length of stay (−0.009 days; 95% CI, −0.1 to 0.1; P = 0.89) and medical spending (−$56; 95% CI, −334 to 223; P = 0.70).
The standard of care treatment for maximally resected, high risk (≥ 40 years old or sub-totally resected) low grade glioma (LGG) patients was established by RTOG 9802, which showed an overall survival (OS) of 13.3 years for patients treated with radiotherapy (RT) + PCV (procarbazine, lomustine [CCNU], vincristine) chemotherapy compared to 7.8 years for RT alone. In the era of value-based health care, cost-effectiveness analyses (CEA) have the potential to inform coverage decisions and patient care.
The decreasing effectiveness of antimicrobial agents is a global public health threat, yet risk factors for community-acquired antimicrobial resistance (CA-AMR) in low-income settings have not been clearly elucidated. Our aim was to identify risk factors for CA-AMR with extended-spectrum β-lactamase (ESBL)–producing organisms among urban-dwelling women in India. We collected microbiological and survey data in an observational study of primigravidae women in a public hospital in Hyderabad, India.
In this study published in the American Journal of Managed Care, the authors found that premiums for ACA Marketplace plans were higher in rating areas in which physician, hospital, and insurance markets were less competitive.
Poor air quality is thought to be an important mortality risk factor globally, but there is little direct evidence from the developing world on how mortality risk varies with changing exposure to ambient particulate matter. Current global estimates apply exposure-response relationships that have been derived mostly from wealthy, mid-latitude countries to spatial population data, and these estimates remain unvalidated across large portions of the globe.
Abstract: Learning on the job creates a tradeoff in team decisions: Workers with less knowledge have less to contribute to team decisions, but experiential learning may require that trainees also have a stake in decisions to learn. This paper studies learning and influence in team decisions among physicians trainees. Exploiting a discontinuity in relative experience, I find reduced-form evidence of influence due to seniority between trainees.
Abstract: In setting prices for physician services, Medicare solicits input from a committee that evaluates proposals from industry. We investigate whether this arrangement leads to prices biased toward the interests of committee members. We find that increasing a measure of affiliation between the committee and proposers by one standard deviation increases prices by 10%, demonstrating a pathway for regulatory capture. We then evaluate the effect of affiliation on the quality of information used in price-setting.
There is longstanding debate about the contribution of family planning programs to fertility decline. Studying the staggered introduction of family planning across Malaysia during the 1960s and 1970s, we find modest responses in fertility behavior. Higher (but not lower) parity birth hazards declined by one-quarter—but imply only a 5 percent decline in the overall annual probability of birth. Age at marriage rose by 0.48 years, but birth spacing conditional on this did not otherwise change.
We study how exposure to extreme temperatures in early periods of child development is related to adult economic outcomes measured 30 y later. Our analysis uses administrative earnings records for over 12 million individuals born in the United States between 1969 and 1977, linked to fine-scale, daily weather data and location and date of birth.
The Affordable Care Act (ACA) has increased the number of Americans with health insurance. Yet many policy makers and consumers have questioned the value of Marketplace plan coverage because of the generally high levels of cost sharing. We simulated out-of-pocket spending for bronze, silver, or gold Marketplace plans (those having actuarial values of 60 percent, 70 percent, and 80 percent, respectively).
Proprotein convertase subtilisin/kexin type 9 (PCSK9) inhibitors substantially reduce low-density lipoprotein cholesterol, but it is presently unclear whether they also reduce mortality. The list prices of PCSK9 inhibitors in the United States (>$14,500 per year) are >100× higher than generic statins, and only a small fraction of their higher cost is likely to be recovered by prevention of cardiovascular events.