Jayne Morgan, MD, Executive Director, COVID Taskforce for Piedmont Healthcare and Southeast Life Sciences Board Member, along with Piedmont colleagues Jessica McCain, Xinyue Wang and Kate Connell sought empirical answers to these questions in a recently published paper in the Journal of the National Medical Association, “Assessing the impact of insurance type on COVID-19 mortality in Black and white patients in the largest healthcare system in the State of Georgia.”
From the paper’s key points:
Question: Does the relationship between race and COVID-19 mortality still exist when Black and White patients are equally insured?
Findings: In a retrospective analysis of hospital data for an equitably insured population, White and Black patients did not differ in odds of mortality from COVID-19. White patients were more likely to be older and on Medicare. Insurance type was a significant predictor in a logistic regression analysis, even when controlling for risk factors and laboratory results.
Meaning: Racial disparities in COVID-19 mortality in the US population may be partially explained by disparities in insurance.
Read the paper in its entirety here.
Jayne shared the following takeaway and action item for the Southeast Life Sciences community with Write2Market’s Paul Snyder.
What’s the one thing you hope readers will commit to memory?
“That Social Determinants of Health also determine downstream effects such as what type and quality of insurance you have. This can serve to dissuade participation in the medical system and in the advocacy of one’s own health because of out of pocket expenses, caps, limitations, and bureaucracy. With regard to Covid diagnoses, when insurance was equitable, the inequity in health outcomes was no longer significant and equalized.
What’s the top opportunity for the SLS community to influence positive change in response to the paper’s findings?
“Where you live and what you earn should not impact whether you have access to health insurance and accurate health information. One of the ways in which we can influence positive change is by ensuring that people realize that medical care can also be accessed via clinical trials, regardless of one’s economic and/or insurance status. Clinical trials can serve as a gateway toward removing barriers and providing access to healthcare for many.”
Southeast Life Sciences would like to thank Jayne for her continuing support and leadership.