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A Year After Implementation of the Telehealth Waiver: Being Offered and Utilizing Video-Specific Telehealth Among Dual-Eligible Medicare Recipients During the COVID-19 Pandemic

Choi, Jasmin; Kim, Grace; Choi, Sugy; Chang, Ji Eun
OBJECTIVE:Telehealth is an essential tool to provide access to care while reducing infection exposure for high-risk populations during the COVID-19 pandemic. Our study aims to examine factors associated with telehealth availability and usage among Medicare and dual-eligible recipients 1 year after implementation of the Medicare's temporary telehealth waiver. DESIGN, SETTING, AND PARTICIPANT/METHODS:A cross-sectional, phone survey with a national representative sample of Medicare recipients. We obtained a final study sample from the Winter 2021 COVID-19 Supplement of Medicare Current Beneficiary Survey dataset (N = 10 586). We examined associations for being offered and having had telehealth visits or any video telehealth visits during the pandemic since November 1, 2020. MAIN OUTCOME MEASURES/METHODS:Our primary outcomes were being offered any telehealth, being offered any video telehealth, having had any telehealth visit, and having had any video telehealth. RESULTS:Although dual eligibility was not significantly associated with being offered or having had any telehealth services during the pandemic, those who were dual eligible were more likely to have had video telehealth visits (adjusted odds ratio = 1.39, 95% confidence interval 1.04-1.86, P = .03) compared with those with non-dual eligibility. Recipients with disability eligibility, technology access, and severe chronic conditions were more likely to have been offered or have had telehealth. At the same time, those who lived in the nonmetropolitan area were less likely to have been offered or have had telehealth, including video telehealth. CONCLUSIONS:Our findings suggest that the federal waivers to expand telehealth services were successful in continuing care for vulnerable Medicare recipients. The providers' specific outreach and intervention efforts to offer telehealth visits are crucial for dual-eligible recipients. To increase video telehealth uptake, technology access and services to rural areas should be prioritized.
PMID: 37938810
ISSN: 1550-5022
CID: 5620152

Substance use and treatment disparities among Asian Americans, Native Hawaiians, and Pacific Islanders: A systematic review

Choi, Sugy; Hong, Sueun; Gatanaga, Ohshue S; Yum, Alexander J; Lim, Sahnah; Neighbors, Charles J; Yi, Stella S
BACKGROUND:The increasing relevance of substance use disorder (SUD) within the Asian American, Native Hawaiian, and Pacific Islander (AA&NH/PI) communities, particularly amidst rising anti-Asian hate incidents and the disproportionate health and economic challenges faced by the NH/PI community during the COVID-19 pandemic, underscores the urgency of understanding substance use patterns, treatment disparities, and outcomes. METHODS:Following PRISMA guidelines, 37 out of 231 studies met the search criteria. Study characteristics, study datasets, substance use rates, SUD rates, treatment disparities, treatment quality, completion rates, and analyses disaggregated by the most specific AA&NH/PI ethnic group reported were examined. RESULTS:Despite increased treatment admissions over the past two decades, AA&NH/PI remain underrepresented in treatment facilities and underutilize SUD care services. Treatment quality and completion rates are also lower among AA&NH/PI. Analyses that did not disaggregate AA and NHPI as distinct groups from each other or that presented aggregate data only within AA or NHPI as a whole were common, but available disaggregated analyses reveal variations in substance use and treatment disparities among ethnic groups. There is also a lack of research in exploring within-group disparities, including specific case of older adults and substance use. CONCLUSION/CONCLUSIONS:To address disparities in access to substance use treatment and improve outcomes for AA&NH/PI populations, targeted interventions and strategic data collection methods that capture diverse ethnic groups and languages are crucial. Acknowledging data bias and expanding data collection to encompass multiple languages are essential for fostering a more inclusive approach to addressing SUD among AA&NH/PI populations.
PMID: 38262197
ISSN: 1879-0046
CID: 5624872

Strategies to improve delivery of equitable and evidence-informed care for pregnant and birthing people with a substance use disorder in acute care settings: A scoping review protocol

King, Carla; Laynor, Gregory; McNeely, Jennifer; Fawole, Adetayo; Lee, Matthew; Terplan, Mishka; Choi, Sugy
This protocol outlines a proposed scoping review to characterize evidence on implementation and quality improvement (QI) strategies that aim to improve equitable, evidence-informed care delivery for pregnant and birthing people with substance use disorder (SUD) in acute care. Untreated SUD during pregnancy is associated with an increased risk of overdose and severe maternal morbidity. Acute care settings are one important place to deliver equitable, evidence-informed clinical care. While clinical practice guidelines for substance use treatment and care of pregnant and birthing people with SUD exist, there are gaps in implementation. Our population of interest is pregnant and birthing people with SUD in an acute care setting. We will include US-based studies that describe or evaluate implementation or QI strategies, including experimental, observational, and descriptive studies published from 2016 to 2023. The proposed scoping review will be conducted in accordance with JBI methodology for scoping reviews and registered at OSF (registration number: BC4VZ). We will search MEDLINE (PubMed), CINAHL Complete (EBSCO), Scopus (Elsevier), and APA PsychInfo (Ovid) for published studies. Conference proceedings and Perinatal Quality Collaborative websites will be searched for grey literature. Two reviewers will independently screen then extract studies that meet inclusion criteria using a data extraction tool. The completion of this scoping review will help illuminate strengths and gaps in research and practice that aim to inform substance use treatment and care in acute care settings for pregnant and birthing people with SUD.
PMID: 38498563
ISSN: 1932-6203
CID: 5640152

Medicaid policy data for evaluating eligibility and programmatic changes

Shafer, Paul R; Katchmar, Amanda; Callori, Steven; Alam, Raisa; Patel, Roshni; Choi, Sugy; Auty, Samantha
OBJECTIVES/OBJECTIVE:Medicaid and the Children's Health Insurance Program (CHIP) provide health insurance coverage to more than 90 million Americans as of early 2023. There is substantial variation in eligibility criteria, application procedures, premiums, and other programmatic characteristics across states and over time. Analyzing changes in Medicaid policies is important for state and federal agencies and other stakeholders, but such analysis requires data on historical programmatic characteristics that are often not available in a form ready for quantitative analysis. Our objective is to fill this gap by synthesizing existing qualitative policy data to create a new data resource that facilitates Medicaid policy research. DATA DESCRIPTION/METHODS:Our source data were the 50-state surveys of Medicaid and CHIP eligibility, enrollment, and cost-sharing policies, and budgets conducted near annually by KFF since 2000, which we coded through 2020. These reports are a rich source of point-in-time information but not operationalized for quantitative analysis. Through a review of the measures captured in the KFF surveys, we developed five Medicaid policy domains with 122 measures in total, each coded by state-quarter-1) eligibility (28 measures), 2) enrollment and renewal processes (39 measures), 3) premiums (16 measures), 4) cost-sharing (26 measures), and 5) managed care (13 measures).
PMID: 37789360
ISSN: 1756-0500
CID: 5620162

In our responses to the overdose epidemic, we cannot forget pregnant and postpartum people

West, Brooke S; Choi, Sugy; Terplan, Mishka
In 2021, there were over 100,000 drug overdose deaths in the United States (US). Death rates have increased faster among women than men, particularly among Black and Indigenous people. Although drug overdose is a leading cause of pregnancy-associated deaths, birthing people are rarely emphasized in discussions of overdose and research and services remain limited. Data show increases in drug use and deaths among women of child-bearing age, with risks continuing in the postpartum period. Harms experienced by birthing people who use drugs occur in the context of broader inequities in maternal morbidity and mortality that lead to disparate reproductive health outcomes. Shared structural antecedents (e.g. intersecting sexism and racism, stigma, and punitive policies) underlie overlapping epidemics of overdose and maternal morbidity and mortality. Here we discuss the unique challenges placed on birthing people who use drugs and make recommendations on how to mitigate harms by improving access to and delivery of quality care and addressing unjust policies and practices. We highlight the need for integrated health services, clearer guidelines rooted in equity, and the need for changes to policy and practice that support rather than punish. To better serve individuals and families impacted by substance use, we need multilevel solutions that advance gender equity and racial justice to reshape and/or dismantle the systems that undergird oppression.
PMID: 37572587
ISSN: 1873-4758
CID: 5620002

Organizational access points and substance use disorder treatment utilization among Black women: a longitudinal cohort study

Choi, Sugy; Bunting, Amanda; Nadel, Talia; Neighbors, Charles J; Oser, Carrie B
INTRODUCTION/BACKGROUND:Health and social service organizations, including the emergency department (ED) and public assistance programs, constitute a social safety net that may serve as an "access point" for substance use treatment utilization. Racialization of substance use disorder (SUD) and gender disparities in access to treatment contribute to differences in health and social service utilization, including substance use treatment for Black women. We therefore explored the role of various access points in facilitating the use of substance use treatment among Black women with substance use and involvement in the criminal justice system. METHODS:We used data from the Black Women in the Study of Epidemics (B-WISE) project (2008-2011), which recruited Black women who use drugs from community, probation, and prison recruitment settings in Kentucky. B-WISE is a three-wave panel survey collected on a six-month interval. We estimated dynamic panel models to understand whether time-varying use of services influenced women's substance use treatment utilization over 18-months, adjusting for time-invariant characteristics. We stratified the analysis based on where women were recruited (i.e., community, prison, and probation). RESULTS:The sample included 310 persons and 930 person-waves. For the community and prison samples, the use of an ED in the 6 months prior decreased women's likelihood of subsequent substance use treatment use (Coef: -0.21 (95% CI: -0.40, -0.01); -0.33 (95% CI: -0.60, -0.06), respectively). For the probation sample, receiving support from public assistance (i.e., food stamps, housing, cash assistance) increased the likelihood of subsequent substance use treatment use (0.27 (95% CI: 0.08, 0.46)). CONCLUSION/CONCLUSIONS:Interactions with health and social service organizations predicted Black women's use of substance use treatment services and varied based on their involvement in the criminal justice system. Public assistance venues for Black women on probation may be a point of intervention to increase their access to and use of substance use treatment.
PMID: 37603194
ISSN: 2194-7899
CID: 5598292

Clinics Optimizing MEthadone Take-homes for opioid use disorder (COMET): Protocol for a stepped-wedge randomized trial to facilitate clinic level changes

Choi, Sugy; O'Grady, Megan A; Cleland, Charles M; Knopf, Elizabeth; Hong, Sueun; D'Aunno, Thomas; Bao, Yuhua; Ramsey, Kelly S; Neighbors, Charles J
INTRODUCTION/BACKGROUND:Regulatory changes made during the COVID-19 public health emergency (PHE) that relaxed criteria for take-home dosing (THD) of methadone offer an opportunity to improve quality of care with a lifesaving treatment. There is a pressing need for research to study the long-term effects of the new PHE THD rules and to test data-driven interventions to promote more effective adoption by opioid treatment programs (OTPs). We propose a two-phase project to develop and test a multidimensional intervention for OTPs that leverages information from large State administrative data. METHODS AND ANALYSIS/METHODS:We propose a two-phased project to develop then test a multidimensional OTP intervention to address clinical decision making, regulatory confusion, legal liability concerns, capacity for clinical practice change, and financial barriers to THD. The intervention will include OTP THD specific dashboards drawn from multiple State databases. The approach will be informed by the Health Equity Implementation Framework (HEIF). In phase 1, we will employ an explanatory sequential mixed methods design to combine analysis of large state administrative databases-Medicaid, treatment registry, THD reporting-with qualitative interviews to develop and refine the intervention. In phase 2, we will conduct a stepped-wedge trial over three years with 36 OTPs randomized to 6 cohorts of a six-month clinic-level intervention. The trial will test intervention effects on OTP-level implementation outcomes and patient outcomes (1) THD use; 2) retention in care; and 3) adverse healthcare events). We will specifically examine intervention effects for Black and Latinx clients. A concurrent triangulation mixed methods design will be used: quantitative and qualitative data collection will occur concurrently and results will be integrated after analysis of each. We will employ generalized linear mixed models (GLMMs) in the analysis of stepped-wedge trials. The primary outcome will be weekly or greater THD. The semi-structured interviews will be transcribed and analyzed with Dedoose to identify key facilitators, barriers, and experiences according to HEIF constructs using directed content analysis. DISCUSSION/CONCLUSIONS:This multi-phase, embedded mixed methods project addresses a critical need to support long-term practice changes in methadone treatment for opioid use disorder following systemic changes emerging from the PHE-particularly for Black and Latinx individuals with opioid use disorder. By combining findings from analyses of large administrative data with lessons gleaned from qualitative interviews of OTPs that were flexible with THD and those that were not, we will build and test the intervention to coach clinics to increase flexibility with THD. The findings will inform policy at the local and national level.
PMID: 37294821
ISSN: 1932-6203
CID: 5541342

Impact of supportive housing health homes program on medicaid utilization for persons diagnosed with HIV (PDWH)

Forthal, Sarah; Choi, Sugy; Yerneni, Rajeev; Macinski, Sarah; Levey, Wendy; Kerwin, Joseph; Ahadzi, Martina; Fish, Douglas; Anderson, Bridget J; Neighbors, Charles
PMID: 36524897
ISSN: 1360-0451
CID: 5382482

Alcohol use during pregnancy: findings from a gender-based violence survey in Mongolia

Erdenetuya, Bolormaa; Kwon, Dayoon; Choi, Sugy; Choe, Seung-Ah
This study aimed to explore the risk factors for alcohol use during pregnancy in Mongolia, wherein high-risk alcohol use is prevalent. We analyzed nationwide data from the Gender-Based Violence (GBV) Survey of Mongolia conducted in 2017. We conducted an analysis restricted to 2714 women who had given birth within 5 years of the survey and who had responded to questions about their health-related behaviors during pregnancy. We assessed the association between alcohol use during pregnancy and pregnancy-related factors, including maternal age, educational attainment, history of abortion, smoking during pregnancy, unintended pregnancy, prior experience of sexual and physical violence, physical violence during pregnancy, and current binge drinking while also considering their residential region. Alcohol use during pregnancy was reported in 5.4% of the participating women. Unintended pregnancy for women (OR = 1.95, 95% confidence interval [CI]: 1.60, 2.38), abortion history (1.89, 95% CI: 1.60, 2.24), smoking during pregnancy (8.30, 95% CI: 6.60, 10.43), physical violence during pregnancy (2.22, 95% CI: 1.75, 2.81), and being a binge drinker (6.05, 95% CI: 3.63, 10.10) were associated with higher odds of alcohol use during pregnancy. Associations with maternal age, marital status, higher education, or multiparity were not evident. Our finding provides knowledge of risk factors for alcohol drinking among pregnant women and evidence for another harm of gender-based violence. This would contribute to the development of effective strategies for preventing antenatal exposure to alcohol in Mongolia.
PMID: 35687163
ISSN: 1435-1102
CID: 5268082

Mixed-methods study to examine the response of opioid addiction treatment programmes to COVID-19: a study protocol

Choi, Sugy; Naik, Rhea; Kiszko, Kamila; Neighbors, Charles; D'Aunno, Thomas
Introduction The COVID-19 pandemic is forcing changes to clinical practice within traditional addiction treatment programmes, including the increased use of telehealth, reduced restrictions on methadone administration (eg, increased availability of take-home doses and decreased requirements for in-person visits), reduced reliance on group counselling and less urine drug screening. This paper describes the protocol for a mixed-methods study analysing organisational-level factors that are associated with changes in clinic-level practice changes and treatment retention. Methods and analysis We will employ an explanatory sequential mixed-methods design to study the treatment practices for opioid use disorder (OUD) patients in New York State (NYS). For the quantitative aim, we will use the Client Data System and Medicaid claims data to examine the variation in clinical practices (ie, changes in telehealth, pharmacotherapy, group vs individual counselling and urine drug screening) and retention in treatment for OUD patients across 580 outpatient clinics in NYS during the pandemic. Clinics will be categorised into quartiles based on composite rankings by calculating cross-clinic Z scores for the clinical practice change and treatment retention variables. We will apply the random-effects modelling to estimate change by clinic by introducing a fixed-effect variable for each clinic, adjusting for key individual and geographic characteristics and estimate the changes in the clinical practice changes and treatment retention. We will then employ qualitative methods and interview 200 key informants (ie, programme director, clinical supervisor, counsellor and medical director) to develop an understanding of the quantitative findings by examining organisational characteristics of programmes (n=25) representative of those that rank in the top quartile of clinical practice measures as well as programmes that performed worst on these measures (n=25). Ethics and dissemination The study has been approved by the Institutional Review Board of NYU Langone Health (#i21-00573). Study findings will be disseminated through national and international conferences, reports and peer-reviewed publications.
ISSN: 2044-6055
CID: 5311232