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The coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic resulted in tectonic shifts in the delivery of American health care, including surgical care. In the early days of the pandemic, the US Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) recommended that surgeons “postpone nonessential surgeries and other procedures,”1 a recommendation endorsed by the American Academy of Otolaryngology–Head and Neck Surgery. Emergency declarations by many states to suspend elective procedures resulted in an abrupt cessation of surgery in the US in March 2020.2 We sought to describe the resulting changes in US otolaryngology surgical volumes surrounding the COVID-19 pandemic.
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Accepted for Publication: December 9, 2020.
Published Online: February 11, 2021. doi:10.1001/jamaoto.2020.5472
Corresponding Author: Anirudh Saraswathula, MD, MS, Department of Otolaryngology–Head and Neck Surgery, Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine, 601 N Caroline St, 6th Floor, Baltimore, MD 21287 (firstname.lastname@example.org).
Author Contributions: Dr Saraswathula had full access to all of the data in the study and takes responsibility for the integrity of the data and the accuracy of the data analysis.
Concept and design: Saraswathula, Stewart.
Acquisition, analysis, or interpretation of data: All authors.
Drafting of the manuscript: Saraswathula, Stewart.
Critical revision of the manuscript for important intellectual content: All authors.
Statistical analysis: Saraswathula.
Administrative, technical, or material support: Saraswathula, Stewart.
Conflict of Interest Disclosures: None reported.
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