The Association of Black Cardiologists Issues Summary of Recommendations on "Improving Health Care Access For Minority and High-Risk Populations"

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The summary identifies comprehensive solutions to improve access to quality health care, treatments, and modalities

Dr. Keith C. Ferdinand, Chair of ABC’s Access to Health Care Committee

As providers, we need to offer our patients evidence-based therapies, regardless of race, ethnicity, or socioeconomic status. As a society, we will not be healthy until disparities are eliminated and we care equally for all.

The Association of Black Cardiologists (ABC) has issued Improving Health Care Access for Minority and High-Risk Populations; a summary of recommendations designed to improve quality health care access in minority populations. The summary supports ABC’s mission to promote the prevention and treatment of cardiovascular disease by eliminating inequalities and improving access to health care, evidence-based treatments, and newer developed modalities.

To address critical health care issues in a changing health care landscape; ABC announced a robust advocacy campaign to promote solutions that give visibility to access barriers faced by minorities and high-risk patients. “As providers, we need to offer our patients evidence-based therapies, regardless of race, ethnicity, or socioeconomic status. As a society, we will not be healthy until disparities are eliminated and we care equally for all,” states Dr. Keith C. Ferdinand, Chair of ABC’s Access to Health Care Committee.

Five consensus-driven solutions have been identified by ABC and a multi-disciplinary team of stakeholders to improve patient access to care and innovative therapies by crafting definitive, collaborative solutions that expand existing services, streamline processes or address problematic policies. Highlights from these inclusive methods support: advocacy for policy; standardization of health plan authorization processes; advancement of telehealth and telemedicine for minority populations; promulgation of pharmacy-based programs and of mobilized community health workers for greater patient engagement.

African Americans are disproportionately burdened with the highest rate of heart disease and stroke of any ethnic group in the U.S. Lack of access can mean earlier deaths, depreciation of quality of life, and loss of optimal productivity.

Several factors influence access to quality care such as social determinants, cultural competency, financial factors in treatment, therapy selection and contextual challenges within the current cardiovascular environment.

As cardiovascular and public health stakeholders, ABC encourages groups and organizations around the U.S. to join in advancing these identified solutions to aid minority or high-risk populations.

About The Association of Black Cardiologists (ABC)
Founded in 1974, the Association of Black Cardiologists, Inc., (ABC) advocacy is a nonprofit organization with an international membership of 1,700 health professionals, lay members of the community (Community Health Advocates), corporate members, and institutional members. The ABC is dedicated to eliminating the disparities related to cardiovascular disease in all people of color.

For more information on the summary of recommendations and the Association of Black Cardiologists, visit http://www.abcardio.org.

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