P326 An exploratory analysis of the impact of COVID-19 on colonoscopy procedures and new biologic treatment initiation among patients with Inflammatory Bowel Disease in the United States

Ungaro, R.(1);Chou, B.(2);Mo, J.(3);Ursos, L.(4);Twardowski, R.(5);Candela, N.(6);Colombel, J.F.(1);

(1)The Mount Sinai Hospital- Feinstein IBD Clinical Center, Gastroenterology, New York, United States;(2)Takeda Pharmaceuticals USA- Inc., Analytics and Data Science, Lexington, United States;(3)Takeda Pharmaceuticals USA- Inc., Analytics, Lexington, United States;(4)Takeda Pharmaceuticals USA- Inc., Speciality Medical, Lexington, United States;(5)Takeda Pharmaceuticals USA- Inc., Data and Market Analytics and Insights, Lexington, United States;(6)Takeda Pharmaceuticals USA- Inc., US Medical, Lexington, United States


Patients with inflammatory bowel disease (IBD) require frequent colonoscopies to optimize disease management and treatment strategies. At the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic, many routine procedures were postponed to reduce the overall burden on healthcare systems. We characterized the impact of COVID-19 on IBD care by conducting an exploratory analysis of real-world US healthcare claims data to identify changes in treatment patterns and the number of colonoscopy procedures performed in patients with IBD during the first wave of the pandemic.


De-identified, open-source health insurance claims data, from Jan 2019 to Oct 2020, were obtained from the Symphony Health Integrated Dataverse® for US adults aged 18–80 years with IBD. Four outcome measures were used: number of colonoscopies performed; number of new biologic treatment initiations or treatment switches; number of new biologic treatment initiations or treatment switches in patients who had a colonoscopy within the previous 60 days; and rate of telehealth consultations per 1000 patients per month.


During Jan–Dec 2019 and Jan–Oct 2020, 1.54 million and 1.29 million patients with IBD, respectively, were included. The bimonthly number of colonoscopies remained stable throughout 2019, with a maximum change of +5.4% in Jul–Aug (N = 49947) vs Jan–Feb 2019 (N = 47399). Colonoscopy use decreased by 4.7% in Jan–Feb 2020 (N = 45167) vs the same period in 2019. In Mar–Apr 2020, colonoscopy numbers decreased by 55.3% (N = 20191) vs Jan–Feb 2020 (Figure 1a); a reduction of 59.4% vs Mar–Apr 2019 (N = 49780). In May–Jun 2020 (−23.8%) and Jul–Aug 2020 (+2.0%) the difference vs Jan–Feb 2020 gradually decreased (Figure 1a). Bimonthly numbers of new treatment initiations or treatment switches in 2019 varied by up to 6.9% vs Jan–Feb 2019. In May–Jun 2020, numbers of new treatment initiations or treatment switches decreased by 17.0% (N = 10072) vs Jan–Feb 2020 (N = 12133) (Figure 1b); a decrease of 19.3% vs May–Jun 2019 (N = 12488). The number of new treatment initiations or treatment switches in patients who had a colonoscopy within the previous 60 days decreased by 42.5% (N = 892) in Mar–Apr 2020 vs Jan–Feb 2020 (N = 1551) (Figure 1c); a decrease of 44.2% vs Mar–Apr 2019 (N = 1599). Telehealth utilization increased in March 2020 and remained higher than in 2019 up to October 2020 (Figure 2).


Reduction in colonoscopies and subsequent initiation/switching of treatments during the COVID-19 pandemic first wave suggests lost opportunities for therapy optimization that may have an impact on longer-term patient outcomes. Increased utilization of telehealth services may have helped address gaps in routine clinical care.