Trella Health Releases COVID-19 Heatmap for Vulnerable Counties
April 28, 2020
ATLANTA, GA – In an effort to support the healthcare community and its fight against COVID-19, Trella Health has released a COVID-19 heatmap. This resource visualizes counties across the US with large populations of Medicare patients considered high-risk for COVID-19. Trella created the heatmap using 100% of Medicare Part A & B Fee-for-Service (FFS) claims data, focusing on the number of chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) and congestive heart failure (CHF) patients in each county. These two conditions are strongly correlated with increased rates of hospitalizations and mortality in COVID-19 cases, so Trella assessed they were useful criteria in determining vulnerability.
Michael Neuman, MPH, Trella’s Director of Data Science, stated, “We know from prior research that COVID-19 disproportionally impacts COPD and CHF patients. By combining data that pinpoints the location of these chronic conditions with our post-acute care analytics, we can assist providers in ramping up coverage in markets where they will be needed most.”
As a partner to the acute and post-acute markets, Trella felt it imperative that the map also highlight the number of home health agencies in each county. As acute care facilities, such as hospitals, focus on freeing up capacity for the most serious COVID-19 cases, home health providers can serve patients who require care after hospital discharge, regardless of their COVID-19 status. Home health agencies can also treat patients with confirmed COVID-19 cases who don’t require hospitalization, allowing acute facilities to direct resources to patients who require more critical care. Finally, understanding the number of COPD+CHF patients per home health agency in a given county can serve as a useful indicator in forecasting staffing and equipment needs.
“Our goal has always been to assist providers and the patients they serve,” stated Ian Juliano, CEO of Trella Health. “By creating and publishing this heatmap, we hope it will allow hospitals, home health agencies, and where appropriate, hospices, to best prepare for future patient demands due to COVID-19.”
As part of the heatmap analysis, Trella provides detailed findings on known peak areas that could provide useful trends and indicators for anticipating COVID-19’s effects in other parts of the country. These clusters include New York City, New York; Wayne County, Michigan; and Cook County, Illinois. Trella also identified the following areas as potential emerging hotspots that may face similar outcomes due to existing risk factors: Washington, D.C.; Cuyahoga County, Ohio; Maricopa County, Arizona; and Suffolk County, Massachusetts.
Trella hopes this map will serve as a valuable resource for the healthcare community and that findings on areas with vulnerable Medicare populations can assist counties, hospitals, and home health agencies prepare for potential needs. View the map here: https://www.trellahealth.com/portfolio_page/covid-19heatmap/
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