CHICAGO--(BUSINESS WIRE)--A diverse group of mission-aligned health systems, a Medicare Advantage health plan, a healthcare analytics solutions company, the association representing Illinois community health centers, health policy leaders, and other health partners came together today to launch the Midwest Health Equity Coalition. The coalition will serve as a brain trust of experts committed to reducing racial health disparities among underserved seniors in Indiana, Michigan, and Illinois — identifying a set of best practices that can be replicated across the country.
The coalition is the vision of Eric E. Whitaker, MD, MPH, Founder & Executive Chairman of Zing Health and former Director of the Illinois Department of Public Health; and Andy Slavitt, Healthcare Advisor and former Administrator of the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services.
“Equity gaps in care and access disproportionately impact Black and Brown communities, resulting in a higher prevalence of chronic care and racial disparities in health outcomes,” said Dr. Eric E. Whitaker. “This coalition will identify, support, and shine a light on innovative and cost-effective ways that front-line healthcare providers deliver preventative care to seniors—in particular, Medicare-eligible and disabled people of color. The goal is to ultimately drive better care so that all people can attain the services they need, regardless of race, disability, or socioeconomic status.”
“The coalition is committed to addressing inequities in healthcare and reducing disease burden in black communities,” said Andy Slavitt. “Our goal is to ensure underserved communities receive the preventative services and quality care they need and deserve to improve health outcomes.”
Quality care for diabetes and other conditions can be challenging in communities with limited practitioners or primary care physicians who may not be acquainted with disease management issues. The coalition is working on initiatives that include assistance in getting necessary appointments, transportation, and social services to help manage these conditions. Additional enhancements include benefits such as free insulin and no cost continuous glucose monitoring to eligible seniors, irrespective of ability to pay.
Among its priorities, the coalition will study those social determinants of health that create a greater risk of patients’ developing chronic conditions and difficulty in managing them. Findings from the coalition’s research will be used to identify individuals who could benefit from home-based services, or social and community supports, to improve quality and access to care.
The coalition will report out its initial findings and recommendations for addressing inequities in healthcare in 2023.
About Zing Health
Founded in 2019, Zing Health, Inc. is a physician-founded insurance company making Medicare Advantage the best it can be for eligible beneficiaries. Named one of the 2022 Best Places to Work in Healthcare, Zing Health adopts a community-based approach that addresses the social determinants of health, keeping individuals and communities healthy while returning the physician and the member to the center of the healthcare equation. Each member gets personalized care and service, access to facilities designed to help them better meet their healthcare needs and a dedicated care team. For more information on Zing Health, visit www.zinghealth.com.
About Sinai Chicago
Sinai Chicago is a Chicago-based private, not-for-profit organization, includes seven member organizations serving the West and Southwest Sides; Mount Sinai Hospital, Holy Cross Hospital, Sinai Children’s Hospital, Schwab Rehabilitation Hospital, Sinai Medical Group, Sinai Community Institute and Sinai Urban Health Institute. The system has 3,500 employees, over 800 physicians on its hospital medical staffs, 654 licensed beds, 100,000+ annual emergency department patient visits and eight physician residency training programs. www.sinai.org
About Illinois Primary Health Care Association
The Illinois Primary Health Care Association is a is a nonprofit trade association that serves as the voice of and champion for all 53 Illinois community health centers which serve over 1.5 million patients annually across more than 400 service sites in underserved areas across our state’s rural, urban, and suburban communities. https://www.iphca.org
More than 150 members trust CareJourney as the healthcare industry’s best source of market intelligence and provider performance data. CareJourney’s cloud-based analytics platform helps organizations build and develop high-performing provider networks, identify and manage at-risk and under-served populations and better understand the dynamics of local healthcare markets. www.carejourney.com