Healthy People2030, which sets data-driven national objectives to improve health and well-being over the next decade, defines a health disparity as a “particular type of health difference that is linked with social, economic, and/or environmental disadvantage.” The CDC defines health disparities as “preventable differences in the burden of disease, injury, violence, or in opportunities to achieve optimal health experienced by socially disadvantaged racial, ethnic, and other population groups, and communities.”
Renee Broadbent, MBA, CCSFP, who is the Chief Information Officer &Information Security Officer (CISO) at Southern New England Healthcare (SoNE HEALTH), describes the divide around equitable care: “The result is that we have sicker populations with reduced life expectancy, health issues that end up being costly and a significant quality of life for the individual and their families.”
Accountable Care Organizations (ACOs) and Clinically Integrated Networks (CINs) are challenged with how they can help bring more equity to the patients and communities they serve.
Renee recently highlighted SoNE HEALTH’s journey to address the issues of inequity in healthcare for patients and communities they serve in Connecticut and Massachusetts. In a recent blog post, "Balancing Inequities in Healthcare," Renee explained how SoNE HEALTH developed a multi-year plan to “improve health equity for the populations we serve and deliver healthcare in new ways.”
They identified challenges in three areas:
1. “Overcoming barriers for patients who are sicker, experience more health inequities, and often face difficulties navigating the healthcare system.”
2. “Engaging patients across a wide range of diversity (e.g., geography, age, race, ethnicity, sexual orientation, gender, gender identity, varying ability, and language.”
3. “Coordinating care across distributed provider organizations and a wide variety of technologies.”
Koan Health has partnered with SoNE HEALTH on population health analytics, and we are extremely proud of their leadership around the issues concerning equitable access to healthcare.