Differences in Outpatient Health Care Utilization 12 Months after COVID-19 Infection by Race/Ethnicity and Community Social Vulnerability.
Int J Environ Res Public Health
Adult; COVID-19; COVID-19 Testing; Ethnicity; Healthcare Disparities; Humans; Outpatients; Patient Acceptance of Health Care; Retrospective Studies; Social Vulnerability
Ensuring access to high-quality outpatient care is an important strategy to improve COVID-19 outcomes, reduce social inequities, and prevent potentially expensive complications of disease. This study assesses the equity of health care response to COVID-19 by examining outpatient care utilization by factors at the individual and community levels in the 12 months prior to and following COVID-19 diagnosis. Employing a retrospective, observational cohort design, we analyzed electronic health record data from a sample of 11,326 adults diagnosed with COVID-19 between March and July 2020. We used two-part models to estimate changes in use of primary and specialty care by race/ethnicity and community social vulnerability in the year before and after COVID-19 diagnosis. Our findings showed that while overall probability and counts of primary and specialty care visits increased following a positive COVID-19 diagnosis, disparities in care utilization by race/ethnicity and living in a socially vulnerable community persisted in the year that followed. These findings reiterate the need for strategic approaches to improve access to and utilization of care among those diagnosed with COVID-19, especially for individuals who are traditionally undeserved by the health system. Our findings also highlight the importance of systematic approaches for addressing social inequity in health care.
Roth, Sarah E; Govier, Diana J; Marsi, Katherine; and Cohen-Cline, Hannah, "Differences in Outpatient Health Care Utilization 12 Months after COVID-19 Infection by Race/Ethnicity and Community Social Vulnerability." (2022). Articles, Abstracts, and Reports. 6034.