Cardiovascular procedural deferral and outcomes over COVID-19 pandemic phases: A multi-center study.
BACKGROUND: The COVID-19 pandemic has disrupted routine cardiovascular care, with unclear impact on procedural deferrals and associated outcomes across diverse patient populations.
METHODS: Cardiovascular procedures performed at 30 hospitals across 6 Western states in 2 large, non-profit healthcare systems (Providence St. Joseph Health and Stanford Healthcare) from December 2018-June 2020 were analyzed for changes over time. Risk-adjusted in-hospital mortality was compared across pandemic phases with multivariate logistic regression.
RESULTS: Among 36,125 procedures (69% percutaneous coronary intervention, 13% coronary artery bypass graft surgery, 10% transcatheter aortic valve replacement, and 8% surgical aortic valve replacement), weekly volumes changed in 2 distinct phases after the initial inflection point on February 23, 2020: an initial period of significant deferral (COVID I: March 15-April 11) followed by recovery (COVID II: April 12 onwards). Compared to pre-COVID, COVID I patients were less likely to be female (P = .0003), older (P < .0001), Asian or Black (P = .02), or Medicare insured (P < .0001), and COVID I procedures were higher acuity (P < .0001), but not higher complexity. In COVID II, there was a trend toward more procedural deferral in regions with a higher COVID-19 burden (P = .05). Compared to pre-COVID, there were no differences in risk-adjusted in-hospital mortality during both COVID phases.
CONCLUSIONS: Significant decreases in cardiovascular procedural volumes occurred early in the COVID-19 pandemic, with disproportionate impacts by race, gender, and age. These findings should inform our approach to future healthcare disruptions.