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HFSA Releases Position Paper on The Impact of Healthcare Disparities on Patients with Heart Failure

HFSA Releases Position Paper on The Impact of Healthcare Disparities on Patients with Heart Failure

A new position paper published today by the Heart Failure Society of America (HFSA) outlines disparities in healthcare that affect patients with heart failure, including race and ethnicity, socioeconomic factors, and social determinants of health. The statement also presents actions that can be taken to address those disparities at the individual, institutional, community and population levels.

Heart failure (HF) is the most common cause of hospitalization in patients over age 65, with 5-year mortality as high as 75% in patients with a prior hospitalization. These statistics are particularly sobering when you consider that HF disproportionately affects Black, Hispanic, and other vulnerable individuals wherein social determinants of health are barriers to receipt of guideline directed medical therapy (GDMT) as well as advanced HF therapies such as heart transplantation (HT) and left ventricular assist device (LVAD).

“As the prevalence of heart failure continues to rise, we must address healthcare disparities in order to improve care for all those living with this devastating disease,” said lead author Alanna Morris MD, MSc. “This position paper identifies key areas where data suggest inequities exist and sets forth objectives and measures that should be used to help mitigate these disparities going forward.”

Published in the Journal of Cardiac Failure (JCF), this position paper by HFSA specifically focuses on racial and ethnic disparities within HF and the role of healthcare societies and systems to help mitigate healthcare disparities. Some of the solutions to eliminate healthcare disparities for patients with HF include providers eliminating racism, bias, and/or microaggressions; price transparency and improved access for GDMT and device therapies in health systems; equal opportunities for promotion/leadership; and diversity in editorial boards [Fig. 3].

“HFSA is committed to promoting equitable systems of care for all people with heart failure, regardless of their identity or circumstances,” said Mark Drazner, MD, MSc, FHFSA, HFSA President. “Through this position paper and other recent initiatives, we will work to achieve a world in which everyone with heart failure has access to the best possible care.”

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