Healthcare Access Roundtable Summary
healthcare-access

The expert discussions at our Healthcare Impact Action Conference last November 11, 2021 were the conclusion of a series of Roundtables starting in August, 2021 to explore five major societal challenges. Together, we explored the major issues relating to these topics and isolated concrete challenges and promising pathways to address them.  In the coming months we will be engaging with innovators and entrepreneurs to winnow through a wide range of possible solutions and determine those most deserving of our expert and investment support.

 

Healthcare Equity: Removing disparity of Access to Quality Healthcare.

 

Despite improvements in the overall health of the country, racial and ethnic minorities experience a lower quality of health care—they are less likely to receive routine medical care and face higher rates of morbidity and mortality than non minorities.  It is also true that depending on the community in which they live, patients experience great differentials in quality of care.  We can use innovation to improve delivery and access to healthcare that does not discriminate based on race, geography, or socioeconomic status.

 

Solution selection criteria:

  1. Empowerment: towards self-advocacy and trust in providers
  2. Ease: More efficient and flexible access to care utilizing existing infrastructure 
  3. Standards: increased use of agnostic algorithms to deliver unbiased care
  4. Resources: Improved services to enhance personal care and responsibility
  5. Transparency: Data and price signal transmission to incentivize payer and provider behavior



Via our conversations and roundtables with a wide variety of experts, we first identified some primary “problems”. At its heart, healthcare disparity is a societal issue and progress will rely on policy or community based programs.  But Innovation can help identify, enhance and ease the implementation of existing and proposed solutions.  To identify how innovation might best contribute, we needed to first identify some core societal problems.

 

Core Problems:

  1. Systemic bias – Data shows a difference in care delivery
  2. Awareness of Bias – Care providers need to acknowledge bias exists
  3. Healthcare Deserts – Distance to care providers (exacerbated by limited travel capacity)
  4. Educational Disparities – Society must empower patients of all backgrounds to expect proper care
  5. Lack of Trust – without trust there can be no provider/patient partnership
  6. Resource differences: More care per capita based on financial resources
  7. Socioeconomic differences – Go beyond the payer relationship and address the core issues.  Often direct feedback or measurement of other issues.
  8. Wellness or basic health disparity – Overemphasized as a “cause” of disparity.  Instead need to address how this is directly causal to the seeking or provision of care.



Once the major problems were identified, we selected some common challenges which persist across them.  By addressing causes and commonalities, we isolated those which either generate the problems or deter effective solutions. In the case of Digital Innovation Hurdles we realized many of the problems above have a Strong overlap.  The challenges:

 

  1. Lack of proper data to create baseline and define disparities
  2. Payer Models: Inadequate price signals to incentivize payers to address disparities
  3. Care provision incentives: We need better data and transparency to motivate both innovators and policy makers
  4. Perception/Empathy: Inherent biases in the life experience or prejudices of care providers
  5. Cycle of Pain:  Poor outcomes -> lack of trust -> less patient engagement -> Poor outcomes.  This feedback loop spreads through the community.

 

Further discussion highlighted that most conversations regarding healthcare equity are both politically charged and rely heavily on policy or community solutions.  Unfortunately, innovation cannot be the only source of solutions based on these channels.  We have focused on selection criteria that look to enhance existing infrastructure, address procedural barriers and/or facilitate both current and future potential policies.  

 

We suggest the following primary requirement or Zero-th Principle: “Potential Solutions must address the ecosystem as it is.  To assume a ground altering change in policy to advocate for a specific innovation is a fool’s errand.”

 

With this original requirement, we then derived the final solution selection criteria:

 

Solution selection criteria:

  1. Empowerment: towards self-advocacy and trust in providers
  2. Ease: More efficient and flexible access to care utilizing existing infrastructure 
  3. Standards: increased use of agnostic algorithms to deliver unbiased care
  4. Resources: Improved services to enhance personal care and responsibility
  5. Transparency: Data and price signal transmission to incentivize payer and provider behavior



If you would like to learn more about this important event, sign up here:

 

After the solution roundtables, we will also be providing policy papers with further detail into our process and will be holding investor roadshows for the most promising solutions.

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