The health literate patient seeks knowledge and learning opportunities to understand how they can best participate in the treatment of their disease. Access to care is essential to successful management of heart failure and mitigation of risk. Patients that have access to health care providers are more likely to follow up for health-related issues. Access to care is dependent on many factors, transportation, location, provider availability, socioeconomic status, and health insurance. The well-managed heart failure patient can navigate barriers related to access to care. Insurance status is a barrier to care for many patients; a patient with ample health insurance will be more likely to engage in preventative care and recommended screening. Many insurance companies have incentives for individuals who participate in wellness programs that reinforce healthy behaviors. Insurance that covers necessary diagnostic procedures without high copays
HEART FAILURE 17 enhances compliance. The well-managed heart failure patient has adequate insurance with manageable co-pays. The stage of heart failure, patient age, and comorbidities at the time of diagnosis impact the management of the disease. The key to impacting life expectancy is prevention and screening. Modifiable risk factors such as smoking, sedentary lifestyle, and unmanaged hypertension, if caught early and addressed, can significantly impact the development and progression of heart failure. International and National Disparities The American College of Cardiology (ACC), American Heart Association (AHA), and Heart failure Society of America (HFSA) collaborate to develop evidence-based best practice guidelines. As evidence emerges to support practice, revisions are published. Evidence-based best practice guidelines are in place to ensure that patients get the best care possible. Unfortunately, the wealthiest country in the world is unable to provide care for all of the people in need. In the United States of America, research has determined that individuals of low socioeconomic status and those that lack adequate insurance often do not get the care that they need. The inability to afford high copays and expensive diagnostic tests are prohibitive for many individuals when having to choose between health care and putting food on the table. Patients often wait until they are very ill before presenting to the emergency department for evaluation. Low-income countries face challenges in the ability to diagnose and treat heart failure. Sub- Saharan Africa reports “heart failure as the leading cause of death for those older than 45 years”(Gaziano, Dorairaj,& Gaziano, 2019, p.1) higher rates of heart failure related to rheumatic heart disease, endomyocardial fibrosis, and HIV related cardiomyopathy, which are uncommon
HEART FAILURE 18 causes of heart failure in higher-income countries. Diagnosing heart failure in Africa can be a challenge due to the lack of resource availability, echocardiography and ECG are often not available for assessing a patient with heart failure.
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- Spring '16
- Cardiology, Health care provider