U.S. hospital admissions that are not linked to COVID-19 have partially rebounded since the pandemic’s start, but they remain low for patients in majority-Hispanic neighborhoods, according to a new study in Health Affairs.
The study examined data from 1 million hospital admissions from Sound Physicians, a large nationally representative medical group. The data is from more than 200 hospitals in 36 states, including New York, Michigan, Washington and Ohio.
Researchers from Sound Physicians and Hanover, N.H.-based Dartmouth College said they looked at admissions unrelated to the coronavirus for 20 acute medical conditions from early February through early July and found that these admissions fell in March and reached 43 percent below pre-pandemic basedline in April.
Updated data suggests admissions remained about the same level through the summer, the researchers said.
In late June and early July, admissions unrelated to the coronavirus were substantially lower for patients in majority-Hispanic neighborhoods (32 percent below the pre-pandemic baseline) and were still below baseline for pneumonia patients (44 percent), chronic obstructive pulmonary disease/asthma (40 percent) and sepsis (25 percent), according to the study.
Researchers theorized the declines may have partially been due to a fear of becoming infected, increased use of telemedicine and potentially lower transmission rates of diseases unrelated to the coronavirus after state stay-at-home orders.
They concluded that “Health system leaders and public health authorities should focus on efforts to ensure that patients with acute medical illnesses can obtain hospital care as needed during the pandemic to avoid adverse outcomes.”
Read more about the study here.
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