ARTICLE: A Map of Racial and Ethnic Disparities in Influenza Vaccine Uptake in the Medicare Fee-for-Service Program

WASHINGTON, DC., April 16, 2020 – Center for Sustainable Health Care Quality and Equity (SHC) announces that the analyses from the National Minority Quality Forum (NMQF) show large disparities in influenza immunization, especially for newer, more effective flu vaccine formulas, important for protecting older people and those with chronic conditions. Nonwhite beneficiaries were significantly less likely to receive the high dose flu vaccine compared to white beneficiaries and gaps were found in rural beneficiaries. “As we see blacks disproportionately impacted by the COVID-19 virus, these data offer another strong voice of caution that we must make sure that treatment and ultimately the vaccine is equitably provided to all,” says Dr. Laura Lee Hall, the lead author of the paper and President of NMQF’s Center for Sustainable Health Care Quality and Equity.

The article, “A Map of Racial and Ethnic Disparities in Influenza Vaccine Uptake in the Medicare Fee-for-Service Program,” was published in Advances in Therapy (Springer Link). The study probes demographic, clinical, and geographic correlates of influenza vaccination among Medicare Fee-for-Service beneficiaries in 2015-16. The results showed that non-white beneficiaries, people dwelling in rural communities, and economically disadvantaged individuals are significantly less likely to receive a flu vaccine, especially a newer, more effective formula for older adults. Vaccination rates vary greatly geographically as well. More frequent doctor’s visits and prescriptions correlated with higher rates of vaccination.

“It will be important to target geographically and demographically vulnerable populations, working with ambulatory care providers to assure equitable protection from the flu,” notes Dr. Hall. “We are working with health care providers nationwide to promote protection from vaccine-preventable diseases.” Ongoing research is needed to understand the roots of inequity better as well. Preliminary analyses from our Center point to patient race and ethnicity as primary causes.

To access the article go to: Springer Link. To learn more about SHC and its effort to promote equitable health care, including vaccination, contact shc@nmqf.org

Journal of Oncology Practice (JOP) receives 2019 JOP editor’s pick

An ASCO, Journal of Oncology Practice (JOP) publication1 received the 2019 JOP editor’s pick award as it was among the 5 most read articles published in 2019 based on the number of downloads and social media activity (#researchforAll). The publication was authored by 24 multiple stakeholders including US cancer center leaders, the FDA, industry leaders, and patient and community leaders and was enabled by NMQF’s Diverse Cancer Communities Working Group. The publication rigorously answered the question, “What successful strategies do cancer centers use to optimize accrual of racial and ethnic minority groups into clinical trials?“ The open access JOP publication was posted as a featured publication by the following organizations on their websites in 2019: FDA, NCI, American Cancer Society and all 8 cancer centers of excellence. There have been ongoing requests to authors from societies and interested parties for presentations and webinars to continue to learn from the cancer center of excellence leader practices. A secondary manuscript2 focused on cancer center of excellence operational practices has been published ONLINE today in Contemporary Clinical Trials Communications.

The NMQF and SHC congratulate all Cancer Center of Excellence leaders and authors for this notable and impactful achievement.

1 Regnante JM, Richie NA, Fashoyin-Aje L, Vichnin M, Ford ME, Roy UB, Turner K, Hall LL, González ET, Esnaola NF, Clark LT, Adams HC III, Alese OB, Gogineni K, McNeil LH, Petereit DG, Sargeant I, Dang JH, Obasaju C, Highsmith Q, Craddock Lee SJ, Hoover SC, Williams EL, Chen MS Jr.: US Cancer Centers of Excellence strategies for increased inclusion of racial and ethnic minorities in clinical trials. Journal of Oncology Practice 2019 15:4, e289-299 http://ascopubs.org/doi/full/10.1200/JOP.18.00638

2 Regnante J, Richie N, Fashoyin-Aje L, Hall LL, Highsmith Q, Louis J, Turner K, Hoover S, Lee S, González E, Williams E, Adams H III, Obasaju C, Sargeant I, Spinner J, Reddick C, Gandee M, Geday M, Dang JT, Watson R, Chen M Jr., Operational strategies in US cancer centers of excellence that support the successful accrual of racial and ethnic minorities in clinical trials, Contemporary Clinical Trials Communications (2020), https://doi.org/10.1016/j.conctc.2020.100532

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LUNGevity Joins the Center for Sustainable Health Care Quality and Equity Diverse Cancer Communities Working Group

The goal is to identify and promote solutions to eliminate inequities in treatment for cancer patients

March 13, 2018—LUNGevity is proud to announce that the Foundation is serving on three subcommittees of the Center for Sustainable Health Care Quality and Equity, founded by the National Minority Quality Forum. As one of two US patient advocacy organizations on the Diverse Cancer Communities Working Group (CWG), LUNGevity will bring years of expertise in supporting the lung cancer community to the Cancer Index Subcommittee, the Community and Patient Engagement Subcommittee, and the Diversity in Clinical Research Subcommittee. “We are proud to work with LUNGevity on the Cancer Working Group, given the importance of always asking for and listening to the patient’s point of view,” said Jeanne M. Regnante, Chair of the CWG.

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Program to Help Protect U.S. Seniors from Influenza Targets Disparities in Immunization

Leading Influenza Vaccine Manufacturer Partners with Major Health Equity Organization to Help Protect Seniors from Potentially Deadly Consequences of Flu

December 8, 2017 — According to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, only two in three seniors receive an influenza immunization each year, despite the heightened risk of hospitalization and death in this population. Among all U.S. adults (18 years and older), far less than half are immunized against flu, with people of color having the lowest rate of vaccination coverage within both the younger adult and senior populations. This is evident in the following 2016-17 statistics for adults 65 years of age and older that show: 59.4% and 61.2% of black and Hispanic seniors, respectively, received the influenza vaccine while that number reached 66.6% among white seniors.

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National Minority Quality Forum awarded Bristol-Myers Squibb Foundation grant to promote lung cancer screening in rural Kentucky

Builds on initiative promoting equity in cancer research, screening, treatment, and outcomes

December 1, 2017—New data from the National Minority Quality Forum indicate that 77% of all lung cancer cases reside in 20% of all zip codes. Lung cancer is the second-most-commonly-diagnosed cancer and the leading cause of cancer-related deaths, with marked demographic and regional variations. The toll of lung cancer in Kentucky is the worst in the nation, killing at a rate fifty percent higher than the national average in the rest of the country. The main drivers of this disease are obesity, smoking, and lack of screening. Notably, the risks for lung cancer in Kentucky are not equally distributed throughout the state, as a much higher incidence is seen in regions on the eastern side of the state near the Appalachian Mountains. Unfortunately, this rural region continues to struggle with barriers to early screening and effective prevention and treatment due to long-standing shortages of primary care providers, coupled with lower levels of education and income/wealth than in most of the state, and the nation.

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