CP22 - Identifying COVID-19 Mortality and Social Deprivation Hot Spots and Exploring Opportunities for Health Center Response
Poster Type: Research
Track/Topic: Expanding Access to Care and Other Services; Public Health Crises; Social Determinants of Health
Research Objectives: This research has two aims: (1) to identify priority areas based on high levels of social deprivation and COVID-19 mortality and COVID-19 mortality “hot spots” – which are clusters of high rates of COVID-19 mortality; and (2) to identify health centers located in priority areas.
Research Study Design/Methods: Data sources include COVID-19 mortality from USA Facts, social deprivation from the Robert Graham Center, and health center awardee patient characteristics from UDS. Bayesian smoothing of COVID-19 mortality was used to identify counties in the top quintile for COVID-19 mortality per capita. Local Moran’s I analysis was then used to identify counties within geographic “hot spots.” Priority areas were defined as counties in the top quintile for COVID-19 mortality rates and social deprivation, or those identified as COVID-19 mortality “hot spots.” Geographic Information Systems (GIS) were then used to overlay health center service delivery sites on priority counties.
Research Principal Findings and Quantitative/Qualitative Results:
We identified 504 priority counties that had high rates of COVID-19 mortality and social deprivation, or were part of COVID-19 mortality “hot spot.” Most priority counties are located in rural areas in Texas, the Southeast (MS, GA, AL, LA), and Great Plains States (KS, IA, ND, SD), while several are within large urban centers (New York City). Priority counties include more than 250 Health Center Program awardees, 1,660 service delivery sites, and 6.5 million patients. Health centers in priority counties have higher percentages of patients that are Black, uninsured, homeless, and in public housing.
Research Conclusions on Impact on Health Centers: The impact of COVID-19 has been significant for health centers across the U.S. However, health centers located in the hardest hit areas would likely benefit most from having increased access to COVID-19 vaccinations via health centers and may have experienced the largest declines in “routine” health care utilization, including having large numbers of patients forgo critical preventive care such as cancer screenings. This research identifies health centers located in areas most impacted by COVID-19 and identifies opportunities to target resources to these health centers regarding preventive care, COVID-19 immunizations, and other patient outreach.
Michael Topmiller, PhD, Health GIS Research Specialist, American Academy of Family Physicians
Jennifer Rankin, PhD, Sr. Manager Research & Product Services, American Academy of Family Physicians
Jessica McCann, MA, User Engagement Specialist, American Academy of Family Physicians
Jene Grandmont, MA, Sr. Manager Application & Data Services, American Academy of Family Physicians
David Grolling, MS, GIS Strategist, American Academy of Family Physicians
Mark Carrozza, MA, Director, American Academy of Family Physicians