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Valve Patients Access

Why do we have inequalities in access to treatments?

Sunday 29th September 2019

(UK) Inequalities in access to treatments are often location based. We see this as structural issues. This is why the National Guideline implementation is so important to us. There needs to be a fundamental standard of care that everyone works to and these improved procedures will increase access to treatment. Our Gold Standard of Care Report will address some of those issues.

(US) We experience this too. In some communities a lack of awareness contributes to less access to innovative treatments. However, we also know that more innovative treatments, such as TAVR and TMVR, are available at a limited number of medical centres. These centres are often in more urban areas and, as a result, senior citizens and minority populations in rural areas have an additional distance burden when seeking care.

(UK)These access issues based on distance or lack of innovative technologies are why trials are so important. We need to be constantly thinking about ways of closing that distance. Trials give us different routes to access and can then inform National Guidelines.

(US) Structural differences between healthcare in our countries offer different problems. For instance, those under 65 are not covered by government Medicare programs, so they must rely on private health insurance. So in the US we may have a lack of insurance coverage, or high-cost coverage, that deters people from seeking treatment.

(UK) Cost is often central to access problems. What we need to convey is that the optimal care pathways are so much cheaper than sub optimal pathways and that it is the case that we see far too many times that patients experience poorer outcomes. This is why we are focused on the implementation of National Guidelines and Gold Standards of Care.