April 10, 2024

How Health Equity Impacts Cardiovascular Care

by Chamber Cardio Team

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Because heart disease is one of the leading causes of death in the U.S. — and because the disease is often preventable — it’s vital for cardiologists to understand issues of health equity and how they impact patients’ outcomes. 

Health equity occurs when everyone in the population has equal access to the right services and care to attain their highest level of health, regardless of social, economic, or other factors. 

And while we are far from achieving true health equity in the U.S. today, there are steps we can take to remove barriers to care and make sure patients are getting the treatment they need and deserve. 

5 Factors Limiting Access to Cardiovascular Care

1. Financial Barriers: Financial constraints can be a significant hurdle in accessing cardiovascular care for lower income populations and underserved communities. Lack of health insurance or high out-of-pocket costs for screenings, medications, and procedures can prevent individuals from seeking timely care. 

2. Geographical Challenges: Patients living in rural or remote areas may find it difficult to travel to a hospital, clinic or specialist, either because of long travel times or lack of reliable transportation. 

3. Social Determinants of Health: Income, education, employment, housing, and food access can all have direct and significant impacts on a person’s health. These factors can increase a person’s risk of heart disease or other acute events, and they can also limit cardiologists’ ability to provide preventative care.

4. Cultural and Language Barriers: Cultural differences and language barriers can also create challenges in communication and understanding between patients and healthcare providers. This can affect the delivery of proper care and prevent individuals from seeking help when they need it.

5. Healthcare System Challenges: Systemic issues within the healthcare system, such as disparities in resource allocation, not having complete medical records of patients, unequal distribution of healthcare facilities, can lead to unequal access to cardiovascular care among different populations.

A Comprehensive Approach to Health Equity

Because health equity is such a multifaceted issue, it requires a collaborative approach among stakeholders, practices, providers, health plans, and patients. 

At Chamber, we help connect all these stakeholders by delivering real-time insights, risk assessment, clinical guidelines, back office support, and contracting. The first step in addressing health equity is understanding the problem, so we are committed to collecting data on social determinants of health and factoring it into our patients’ risk assessments. We also equip cardiologists to smoothly transition to a value-based care model, which we believe is an important step in promoting health equity.

How Value-Based Care Supports Health Equity

A value-based care model promotes health equity by allowing providers to focus on individual patient needs and find the solutions that will lead to the best outcomes. 

When cardiologists are incentivized to deliver preventative care, spend more time with each patient, and get reimbursed based on care quality, patient outcomes naturally improve. 

And with Chamber as a bridge connecting cardiologists and other stakeholders, it’s now easier than ever to make that transition to value-based care. 

By integrating with Chamber Cardio, practices can keep serving their local communities but also gain access to larger networks.. This gives cardiologists even more opportunities to continue their incredible care at the local level, developing trust and employing strategies that keep patients out of the hospitals.

To find out more about how Chamber Cardio is promoting health equity through value based care, book a call.