Using Appendiceal Perforation Rates to Measure Impact of a Disaster on Healthcare System Effectiveness
Louisiana State University Health Sciences Center New Orleans, New Orleans, Louisiana, United States Southern medical journal
(Impact Factor: 0.93).
01/2013; 106(1):82-8. DOI: 10.1097/SMJ.0b013e31827c5a0c
To understand baseline inequities in appendiceal perforation rates and the impact of hurricane destruction on the healthcare system with respect to perforation rates and racial disparities.
We used claims data extracted from Medicaid Analytic Extract files to identify appendicitis diagnoses in children and adolescents based on International Classification of Diseases-9 codes and appendectomy procedures based on Current Procedural Terminology codes in the hurricane-affected states of Mississippi and Louisiana. County-level summary data obtained from 2005 Area Resource Files were used to determine high and low hurricane-affected areas. We estimated logistic regression models, mutually adjusting for race, sex, and age, to examine disparities and mixed logistic regression models to determine whether county-level effects contributed to perforation rates.
There were nine counties in the high-impact area and 133 counties in the low-impact area. Living in the high- or low-impact area was not associated with a statistically different rate of perforation before or after Hurricane Katrina; however, living in the high-impact area was associated with a change from a lower risk (odds ratio [OR] 0.62) of perforation prehurricane to a higher risk (OR 1.14) posthurricane compared with those living in the low-impact areas. African Americans had statistically higher perforation rates than whites in the high-impact areas both before (OR 1.46) and after (OR 1.71) Hurricane Katrina.
Health professionals and hospital systems were able to maintain effective levels of care before and after Hurricane Katrina; however, perforation rates in African Americans suggest ongoing racial disparities during disasters.
Available from: journals.cambridge.org
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ABSTRACT: In postdisaster settings, health care providers encounter secondary surges of unmet primary care and mental health needs that evolve throughout disaster recovery phases. Whatever a community’s predisaster adequacy of health care, postdisaster gaps are similar to those of any underserved region. We hypothesize that existing practice and evidence supporting medical homes and care coordination in primary care for the underserved provide a favorable model for improving health in disrupted communities. Elements of medical home services can be offered by local or temporary providers from outside the region, working out of mobile clinics early in disaster recovery. As repairs and reconstruction proceed, local services are restored over weeks or years. Throughout recovery, major tasks include identifying high-risk patients relative to the disaster and underlying health conditions, assisting displaced families as they transition through housing locations, and tracking their evolving access to health care and community services as they are restored. Postdisaster sources of financial assistance for the disaster-exposed population are often temporary and evolving, requiring up-to-date information to cover costs of care until stable services and insurance coverage are restored. Evidence to support disaster recovery health care improvement will require research funding and metrics on structures, processes, and outcomes of the disaster recovery medical home and care coordination, based on adaptation of standard validated methods to crisis environments. (
Disaster Med Public Health Preparedness.
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