The Need to Incorporate Equity Lens into Patient Care


Healthcare costs are already skyrocketing and creating a challenging crisis for the industry. The disparities in the U.S. healthcare system forge an unnecessary rise in costs that spreads over society, resulting in a financial crisis. The continuing upward trend in costs could lead to an even more significant number of unaffordable bills and deteriorating health and productivity. According to the new report by Deloitte, the cost of health inequities is currently $320 billion annually but could rise to $1 trillion in 20 years.

Apart from the predicaments that already exist in the healthcare system, if the U.S. fails to address such issues, the country could significantly impact the affordability, quality, and access to care. The average American may have to pay at least $3,000 more per year for health care due to the projected increase in spending. It would represent a significant rise from the $1,000 they pay today.

According to Deloitte, if the state removes barriers to health equity, this could positively impact the overall health of individuals, the standard of living, and communities. However, reforms in the healthcare system require action by industry leaders. Affordable access to healthcare can be ensured if the healthcare leaders, policy experts, and patients unite to tackle such challenges.

Deloitte has made several recommendations to reduce disparities and their associated health care spending, including:

  1. Ensure equity is prioritized in business decisions: To drive equity-centered thinking into business choices to develop well-being-centered, result-oriented prevention and delivery systems that aim at serving everyone, regardless of their socio-economic status.
  2. Promote cross-sector partnerships: To collaborate with healthcare organizations that work on initiatives to tackle the underlying causes of health inequities.
  3. Evaluate progress: With the help of data collection, key performance indicators, and evaluation, progress can be monitored in overcoming health equity.
  4. Identify and address individual and community level barriers: To improve community health, address non-medical drivers of health, and overcome barriers to quality care. Several factors – including health literacy and care infrastructure – should be eliminated.
  5. Build trust: Trust is crucial to driving the system, from individual practitioners to institutions, technology, and data. The key will be to rebuild trust with people and communities by understanding their needs, improving experiences, and fostering greater diversity and inclusion in the workforce.

CMS is keen on promoting health equity through new rules and standards that reflect health equity principles. Healthcare organizations must take some immediate measures to address health equity to improve patient care and as a compliance mandate.

Persivia, the biggest proponent of health equity, is front and center in enabling organizations to address this challenge. The Persivia Data Platform integrates data from multiple sources, including SDOH, to create a single longitudinal patient record. The patient data is translated, mapped, standardized, normalized syntactically and semantically, and enriched with insights.

As a result of the record, providers are presented with real-time clinical gaps and alerts to make informed decisions at the point of care. Our data platform aims to deliver our vision of “Personalized care for All,” ensuring that every data point related to patient health is accurately captured and mapped into a complete picture of the patient.

Reach out to us to learn how we can help your organization address the SDOH needs.

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