Treatment Validation Platforms Can Reduce Care Variation and Promote Health Equity

Quality health care should be accessible to all, but systemic inequalities are insurmountable barriers for too many people seeking to access needed care and services. The National Library of Medicine lists a wide range of dimensional factors, including social, economic, environmental, and structural disparities among and between demographic groups that negatively affect people’s living conditions, access to health care, and status. general health.

In addition to their impact on health outcomes, inequalities are costly and highly inefficient. The annual cost associated with addressing health inequities in Black, Hispanic, and Asian American communities is staggering, ranging from $54 billion to $61 billion.

The shadow of health inequalities reaches into chronic diseases, including heart disease, cancer, stroke, obstructive lung disease and diabetes. One hundred and thirty-three million Americans suffer from at least one chronic disease, which causes more than 1.7 million deaths per year. The CDC reports that chronic diseases are the primary driver of total annual health care spending of $4.1 trillion in the United States.

In addition, economic productivity suffers from the weight of inequalities in care. When calculating total expenditures – including direct costs paid by individuals, families, insurance companies and employers and indirect costs associated with work absences, lost wages and economic productivity – the cost chronic disease reaches $3.7 trillion annually, or about 19.6% of the gross domestic product of the United States.

Research by the National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute found that differences in disease burden cut across racial/ethnic groups, socioeconomic status, and place of residence. For instance:

  • High blood pressure is recorded at higher rates in black and Hispanic adults
  • Rural populations have increased rates of death from heart disease, stroke, and chronic lower respiratory diseases compared to urban populations
  • Children from low-income families suffer from increased rates of asthma
  • Black Americans are more likely to die from asthma-related causes than Caucasian Americans

Access to quality, evidence-based health care, whether it is treatment for chronic conditions, urgent care services or a routine check-up, should be available to everyone. The problem is large-scale and urgent – ​​and without a silver bullet, solutions will have to be multifaceted and multilayered. The evolution of technology can be a key part of the solution. With the ability now to harness evidence and treatment protocols with the most desired outcomes, resources and care can be directed at scale to the populations most in need.

Optimize processing at scale

One way to address inequities is to ensure that every patient receives the most up-to-date standard of care through the use of treatment validation technology.

Treatment validation platforms can not only ensure best treatment practices, but they also enable consistent care and identify it effectively. Designed to optimize results, these platforms help providers bypass time-consuming (and often costly) trial and error methods while coordinating in real time with payers. They enable providers to intelligently and automatically compare thousands of evidence-based, nationally approved clinical trials and treatment options, while enabling payers to more quickly validate and accept treatment regimens via shared and trusted evidence-based resources. Saving time and guaranteeing the optimal treatment are imperative.

Treatment validation platforms can be used in autoimmune diseases where early diagnosis and effective treatment can help avoid later debilitating chronic effects of the disease, such as disability due to arthritis or cardiovascular complications lupus. Arthritis diagnosis and care is an area where providers, especially primary care practitioners, can implement advanced evidence-based treatment decisions, creating greater consistency in care throughout simultaneously reducing unnecessary or less effective treatments and the costs associated with them.

The majority of arthritis patients do not see their rheumatologist. Instead, they use primary care providers, such as family doctors, internists, nurse practitioners and physician assistants. The main contributor to work disability, an estimated 25.7 million adults are limited in their daily activities due to the effects of arthritis. Identified as the second leading cause of employee healthcare costs, arthritis results in 172 million missed workdays and $304 billion in lost income and medical expenses annually.

Treatment validation supports fairness

Treatment validation technology offers a way to advance equity in care. Regardless of the patient’s geography or healthcare system, these platforms provide consistent and rapid treatment validation, supporting consistent and improved outcomes while reducing overall expenses.

Treating arthritis, as well as other chronic conditions, can help level the playing field with systematic, evidence-based treatment. While it does not address societal factors that make populations more vulnerable to disease, it can ensure provider decisions align with evidence-based protocols. This can translate into providers responding to the patient’s diagnosis with appropriate and validated care. Although better treatment does not decrease the incidence of disease, it can help reduce disparities in care. It is a valuable tool and an essential step in the long journey towards equitable health for all.

Tiffany Avery, MD is Chief Medical Officer of NantHealth.

About Antoine L. Cassell

Check Also

Posters emphasize the prevalence and need for prompt treatment of RVO

Posters presented at the annual meeting of the American Academy of Ophthalmology showed that patients …