Keynote conversation from Top of Mind Online focuses on need to address health disparities, value, innovation, and more
Health systems’ response to the COVID-19 pandemic hasn’t been the only challenge in 2020.
The pandemic highlighted longstanding health and economic disparities in communities across the country.
“There is no doubt that we have seen a hammering both of the economy because of the pandemic and the related impact on disparities in the country, which amplified the gaps in between rich and poor; and they’re amplified by race,” Ian Morrison, PhD, a health care futurist and author, said during a keynote fireside chat at the Top of Mind Online virtual summit.
Dr. Morrison spoke with UPMC Health Plan President and CEO Diane Holder for fireside, “The Future of the Health Care Marketplace.” It was one of six sessions from the virtual summit, which was organized by the Center for Connected Medicine (CCM).
The working poor also were more likely to be infected by COVID-19 because they were unable to work from home and traveled by public transit. Many have inadequate access to health care services or insurance, and there is also a greater prevalence of comorbid and preexisting conditions in communities of color, which can lead to more severe COVID illness.
“All of those I think, contributed both to the spread and the severity of the impact of the pandemic on communities of color in particular,” Dr. Morrison said.