The new initiative will help develop strategies for reversing deadly disparities among African Americans
February 28, 2018—Aetna, the National Minority Quality Forum (NMQF), and its wholly-owned subsidiary Center for Sustainable Health Care Quality and Equity (SHC), have joined forces to analyze the underlying factors driving disparities in heart failure treatment and outcomes among African Americans relative to other populations. This collaboration will create an action plan for reducing the condition’s deadly and disproportionate toll on this population.
African Americans are especially vulnerable. African Americans are more likely to develop HF, they develop it earlier, and they face a faster reduction in functioning and ultimately death. African Americans also account for a higher percentage of hospitalization and re-hospitalization. The efficacy of traditional treatments in African Americans reveals considerable unknowns as to the biological and genetic underpinnings of the disease in subpopulations, pointing to a need for further research. The HF disparity also reflects uncontrolled hypertension and suboptimal access to evidence-based care. Efforts to reduce the burden of HF on patients and the health care system must focus on African Americans and provision of evidence-based care for this population, including approaches common to all patients with HF, therapies uniquely beneficial to African Americans, further research into therapeutic genetics, and social determinants of health that contribute to disparities.
“Congestive heart failure disproportionately impacts African Americans. Unfortunately, this all-too-common condition has an earlier age of onset and follows a more severe course in this population,” said Dr. Harold L. Paz, executive vice president, and chief medical officer of Aetna. “By partnering with NMQF and SHC, we will explore the factors that contribute to this racial health disparity, and collaboratively develop a strategy that advances evidence-based care with the goal of improving health equity.”
“We are extremely excited to be working with Aetna to document the research and treatment needs of African Americans with heart failure, so as to produce equity in future studies and care,” said Dr. Puckrein, Founder, CEO, and President of NMQF. “Neither patients nor payers can afford the status quo.”
Over the next few months, the organizations will convene leading experts, clinicians, patient representatives, and other stakeholders to establish a results-oriented plan for measurably enhancing HF outcomes among African Americans.
About the National Minority Quality Forum and the Center for Sustainable Health Care Quality and Equity
For further information, please contact Laura Lee Hall, Ph.D., COO, and EVP at the Center for Sustainable Health Care Quality and Equity at firstname.lastname@example.org or 202-854- 0667.