Top 5 Most-Read AJMC® Journal Articles of 2020

In 2020, the peer-reviewed articles published in the pages of The American Journal of Managed Care® (AJMC®) that drew the most readers were largely, but not entirely, related to the coronavirus disease 2019 crisis.

In 2020, the peer-reviewed articles published in the pages of The American Journal of Managed Care® (AJMC®) that drew the most readers were largely, but not entirely, related to the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) crisis.

Here are the 5 most-read articles published in AJMC® in 2020.

5. COVID-19: Daily Fluctuations, a Weekly Cycle, and a Negative Trend

This research letter, printed in the July issue but published online early in May, delved into trends in the weekly cycle of new COVID-19 cases as reported by the Johns Hopkins University Coronavirus Research Center. The author determined that, on average, new cases are lowest on Monday, rise to a peak on Friday, and then decline on the weekend—starting the pattern all over again the following Monday. The trend over the studied period was negative, indicating that new cases trended downward from April 1 to May 2.

Read the full article.

4. Challenges and Similarities in HIV, COVID-19 Crises: A Q&A With Anthony Fauci, MD

AJMC®’s Q&A series to mark the journal’s 25th anniversary produced interviews with a wide range of thought leaders from the clinical and policy sides of health care, and the one that drew the most readers was that with Anthony Fauci, MD, director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases. In the interview, Fauci explained some of the parallels between the COVID-19 pandemic and the HIV/AIDS crisis, as well as pointed out key differences between the 2 viruses, which led him to predict that a COVID-19 vaccine would be an easier goal to accomplish. Just 5 months later, the FDA has authorized the first vaccine for emergency use against COVID-19, with others appearing likely to follow soon.

Read the full interview.

3. Impact of Complex Care Management on Spending and Utilization for High-Need, High-Cost Medicaid Patients

The sole article unrelated to COVID-19 to break into the top 5 most-read list was this research paper on the use of a complex care management program to coordinate care for Medicaid patients with high needs and high costs. The randomized trial revealed lower medical expenditures and fewer inpatient bed days, inpatient admissions, and specialist visits among those receiving complex care management. The authors concluded that targeted interventions harnessing the power of community health workers to build trust and engage patients in their health can be an efficient approach to reduce unnecessary utilization.

Read the full article.

2. Incorporating Telemedicine as Part of COVID-19 Outbreak Response Systems

This commentary published in the April issue provided an early look at how telemedicine systems can be used to slow the spread of COVID-19 while facilitating access to high-quality care. The authors explored how state, federal, and international laws have evolved to accommodate telemedicine use, including by expanding telemedicine reimbursement during the coronavirus public health emergency. The commentary closed with the prescient assessment that “the COVID-19 outbreak may be the right impetus for lawmakers and regulatory agencies to promulgate further measures that facilitate more widespread adoption of telemedicine.”

Read the full article.

1. The Escalation of the Opioid Epidemic Due to COVID-19 and Resulting Lessons About Treatment Alternatives

What happens when 2 deadly epidemics collide—and one can actually exacerbate the other? This commentary explores that question in the context of the ongoing opioid epidemic in the United States, which has been made more dangerous by the social isolation required to slow the spread of the COVID-19 pandemic. Because prior attempts to address the opioid epidemic through reducing opioid access have been unsuccessful, the authors instead called for investments in efforts to help individuals build emotional resiliency, manage stress, and access medication-assisted treatment, which represent “the antithesis of social distancing.”

Read the full article.