Evolution of Disparities in Outpatient Ophthalmic Care at a Tertiary Care Center in California at the Beginning of and One Year into the COVID-19 Public Health Emergency.
To compare disparities in outpatient ophthalmic care during early and later periods of the COVID-19 public health emergency.This cross-sectional study compared non-peri-operative outpatient ophthalmology visits by unique patients at an adult ophthalmology practice affiliated with a tertiary-care academic medical center in the Western US during three time periods: pre-COVID (3/15/19-4/15/19), early-COVID (3/15/20-4/15/20), and late-COVID (3/15/21-4/15/21). Differences in participant demographics, barriers to care, visit modality (telehealth, in person), and subspeciality of care were studied using unadjusted and adjusted models.There were 3095, 1172 and 3338 unique patient-visits during pre-COVID, early-COVID and late-COVID (overall age 59.5 ± 20.5 years, 57% female, 41.8% White, 25.9% Asian, 16.1% Hispanic). There were disparities in patient age (55.4 ± 21.8 vs. 60.2 ± 19.9 years), race (21.9% vs. 26.9% Asian), ethnicity (18.3% Hispanic vs. 15.2% Hispanic), and insurance (35.9% vs. 45.1% Medicare) as well as changes in modality (14.2% vs. 0% telehealth) and subspecialty (61.6% vs. 70.1% internal exam specialty) in early-COVID vs. pre-COVID (p < .05 for all). In late-COVID, only insurance (42.7% vs. 45.1% Medicare) and modality of care (1.8% vs. 0% telehealth) persisted as differences compared to pre-COVID.There were disparities in patients receiving outpatient ophthalmology care during early-COVID that returned close to pre-COVID baseline one year later. These results suggest that there has not been a lasting positive or negative disruptive effect of the COVID-19 pandemic on disparities in outpatient ophthalmic care.
View details for DOI 10.1080/09286586.2023.2180807
View details for PubMedID 36803530
Multimodal imaging reveals retinoschisis masquerading as retinal detachment in patients with choroideremia.
American journal of ophthalmology case reports
2022; 26: 101543
Purpose: To report three cases of retinoschisis in patients with intermediate to advanced choroideremia.Observations: Three patients were referred for evaluation of retinal detachment in the context of an inherited retinal degenerative disease. In all three cases, patients carried variants in the CHM gene suspected to be pathogenic and exhibited the characteristic findings of choroideremia, including pigment clumping and chorioretinal atrophy with scleral exposure and prominent choroidal vessels. Interestingly, these patients were also found to have areas of typical retinoschisis and cystoid degeneration located in the outer plexiform layer of the mid periphery or macula. Retinoschisis was confirmed by spectral domain optical coherence tomography (SD-OCT).Conclusions/Importance: This paper draws attention to the occurrence of retinoschisis in patients with choroideremia. OCT can be used to confirm the presence of retinoschisis rather than retinal detachment, as the clinical exam findings that distinguish the two conditions are not helpful in the setting of advanced chorioretinal atrophy. Although it remains unclear whether patients with choroideremia as a group are at increased risk of retinoschisis, it is possible that abnormal vesicular traffic in the RPE and photoreceptors could contribute to abnormalities in cell adhesion and the extracellular matrix. As gene therapy by subretinal injection of adeno-associated virus becomes the standard of care to slow down or arrest retinal degeneration in choroideremia, it will be critical to carefully screen these patients for retinoschisis prior to surgical intervention and to incorporate any such findings into surgical planning.
View details for DOI 10.1016/j.ajoc.2022.101543
View details for PubMedID 35496760
The Impact of COVID-19 on Neuro-Ophthalmology Office Visits and Adoption of Telemedicine Services.
Journal of neuro-ophthalmology : the official journal of the North American Neuro-Ophthalmology Society
2021; 41 (3): 362-367
BACKGROUND: The COVID-19 public health emergency (PHE) has significantly changed medical practice in the United States, including an increase in the utilization of telemedicine. Here, we characterize change in neuro-ophthalmic care delivery during the early COVID-19 PHE, including a comparison of care delivered via telemedicine and in office.METHODS: Neuro-ophthalmology outpatient encounters from 3 practices in the United States (4 providers) were studied during the early COVID-19 PHE (March 15, 2020-June 15, 2020) and during the same dates 1 year prior. For unique patient visits, patient demographics, visit types, visit format, and diagnosis were compared between years and between synchronous telehealth and in-office formats for 2020.RESULTS: There were 1,276 encounters for 1,167 patients. There were 30% fewer unique patient visits in 2020 vs 2019 (477 vs 670) and 55% fewer in-office visits (299 vs 670). Compared with 2019, encounters in 2020 were more likely to be established, to occur via telemedicine and to relate to an efferent diagnosis. In 2020, synchronous telehealth visits were more likely to be established compared with in-office encounters.CONCLUSIONS: In the practices studied, a lower volume of neuro-ophthalmic care was delivered during the early COVID-19 public health emergency than in the same period in 2019. The type of care shifted toward established patients with efferent diagnoses and the modality of care shifted toward telemedicine.
View details for DOI 10.1097/WNO.0000000000001356
View details for PubMedID 34415270