Emerg­ing Amer­ica: En­gag­ing His­pan­ics in the U. S. Healthcare Sys­tem

How are healthcare or­ga­ni­za­tions ad­dress­ing both the chal­lenges and re­wards of en­gag­ing His­panic con­sumers in their mar­kets? Six ex­pe­ri­enced ex­ec­u­tives rep­re­sent­ing dif­fer­ent parts of the healthcare in­dus­try gath­ered in Los An­ge­les to dis­cuss the re­sults

Modern Healthcare - - NEWS -

In just un­der 15 years, the U.S. His­panic pop­u­la­tion has grown from a group of 35.7 mil­lion to 55.4 mil­lion peo­ple. Un­der the Af­ford­able Care Act, more than 10 mil­lion His­panic-Amer­i­cans are el­i­gi­ble to gain health in­sur­ance cov­er­age. For healthcare or­ga­ni­za­tions across the coun­try, un­der­stand­ing the His­panic pop­u­la­tion rep­re­sents a huge op­por­tu­nity to im­prove com­mu­nity en­gage­ment, pop­u­la­tion health man­age­ment and more—an op­por­tu­nity that is largely be­ing un­tapped.

As the na­tional leader for North High­land’s healthcare con­sult­ing di­vi­sion, I am proud to be part of a group that is help­ing healthcare or­ga­ni­za­tions rec­og­nize and re­al­ize these unique op­por­tu­ni­ties. We are bring­ing to healthcare what we’ve learned through suc­cess­ful part­ner­ships in other in­dus­tries, and are pleased to present with Mod­ern Healthcare Cus­tom Media new re­search, in­for­ma­tion and in­sights about how or­ga­ni­za­tions are tak­ing on the chal­lenges and re­wards of en­gag­ing His­panic con­sumers in their mar­kets. I in­vite you to learn more, and join our con­ver­sa­tion, at ModernHealthcare.com/Emerg­ingAmer­ica, and Info.NorthHigh­land.com/Emerg­ingAmer­ica.

Fletcher Lance, Man­ag­ing Di­rec­tor and Na­tional Healthcare Lead, North High­land

How do Lati­nos view the U.S. healthcare sys­tem?

Dr. San­tana: It is seen as some­thing that does not al­ways meet their needs, and is a lit­tle bit for­eign and in­tim­i­dat­ing. That hap­pens by way of lan­guage, and by way of ac­cess—whether that’s ge­o­graphic, trans­porta­tion-based or fi­nan­cial.

Dr. Mul­li­gan: The health sys­tem is be­wil­der­ing for many of us, but es­pe­cially for this pop­u­la­tion. Many His­pan­ics are used to get­ting their health in­for­ma­tion from the lo­cal botanica or phar­macy—be­cause that’s the way healthcare is pro­vided in many coun­tries out­side the United States.

Dr. Martinez: It’s true that a lot of healthcare in­sti­tu­tions sit back and re­ceive, and they don’t re­ally reach out into the com­mu­nity, which is a fo­cal point for the His­panic pop­u­la­tion. Other in­dus­tries not only rec­og­nize the grow­ing power of the His­panic com­mu­nity, but ac­tively com­pete for it. Healthcare has the same op­por­tu­nity.

A re­cent sur­vey of healthcare ex­ec­u­tives shows that lan­guage is the No. 1 bar­rier to de­liv­er­ing qual­ity healthcare to His­panic pa­tients. Why is that?

Mr. Gil: Two years ago I spoke to our board of 12 physi­cians and is­sued the chal­lenge, how can you have 12 pa­tient pop­u­la­tions that are 60% His­panic and not have taken the med­i­cal Span­ish course? Af­ter that, 10 of the 12 have taken it. The feed­back I re­ceived is they’re closer to the pa­tient. They can ac­tu­ally laugh with the pa­tient, and there’s not that de­layed smile be­cause some­body trans­lated some­thing funny and en­dear­ing the pa­tient said three min­utes ago. That cre­ates bet­ter un­der­stand­ing, bet­ter trust and bet­ter healthcare.

Ms. Mal­lory: When I worked at John­son & John­son, we con­ceived for Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Texas the most ba­sic, sim­ple thing: lam­i­nated pages in a binder that listed terms in English, along with trans­la­tions into Span­ish. Case man­agers work­ing the phones thought they had “died and gone to heaven,” be­cause when they’re talk­ing about even the most ba­sic terms, there are dif­fer­ent words that may mean dif­fer­ent things. And they may or may not be flu­ent in Span­ish, but in ei­ther case, you can’t have peo­ple trans­lat­ing such pre­cise in­for­ma­tion on the fly if you want to de­velop co­her­ent, con­tin­u­ous health ed­u­ca­tion.

What other bar­ri­ers ex­ist?

Mr. Gil: The idea of vis­it­ing hours and other “typ­i­cal” hos­pi­tal rules run counter to the His­panic cul­ture. It takes vol­ume and crit­i­cal mass for the Amer­i­can health sys­tem to ad­just to those cul­tural dif­fer­ences. That said, it would be a mis­take to say Lati­nos are hav­ing trou­ble com­ing into our or­derly sys­tem, be­cause there is noth­ing or­derly about Amer­i­can healthcare. They are com­ing into some­thing that is, in my opin­ion, bro­ken and frag­mented.

Dr. Martinez: We must re­mem­ber that healthcare is in a pe­riod of change, but so are our pa­tients. We’re be­ing asked to re­design the sys­tem to pro­vide proac­tive care, to be able to man­age pop­u­la­tions and man­age risk, and the His­panic com­mu­nity pro­vides that op­por­tu­nity. It’s just not be­ing viewed that way.

What are some ways providers can en­gage?

Mr. Gil: I wish we had more than 5% Latino doc­tors, but that’s not go­ing to hap­pen in my life­time. The big­gest im­prove­ment we can make now is the pro­mo­toras, the nav­i­ga­tors, who help build a sup­port sys­tem that takes the mys­tery out of ac­cess and makes healthcare ac­ces­si­ble and un­der­stand­able.

Dr. Mul­li­gan: Or­ga­ni­za­tions can en­gage pa­tients, es­pe­cially Latino pop­u­la­tions, through telemedicine. MDLIVE has a pi­lot in New Mexico, where 47% of the pop­u­la­tion is Span­ish speak­ing, to help a large in­surer there de­liver be­hav­ioral health ben­e­fits. In the His­panic cul­ture, be­hav­ioral health can be con­sid­ered taboo, but with telemedicine you can qui­etly make your ap­point­ments and talk to some­one with­out any­one know­ing.

Dr. San­tana: Another ben­e­fit of telemedicine is con­nect­ing clin­ics and pri­mary care to mul­ti­spe­cialty groups. Ac­count­able care or­ga­ni­za­tions are ex­plor­ing those op­por­tu­ni­ties be­cause as pay­ment mod­els are chang­ing, we do not have enough man or woman power to ac­cess the care the pa­tient may need.

What is the im­por­tance of “cul­tural com­pe­tence”?

Mr. Luna: Cul­tural com­pe­tence, to me, be­gins with be­ing will­ing to in­quire and dis­cover the ac­tual needs and pref­er­ences of the pa­tient in a clin­i­cal set­ting, and of the pop­u­la­tions that you have in your over­all pa­tient pop­u­la­tion. And right now there’s still too lit­tle will­ing­ness to in­quire, to dis­cover.

Mr. Gil: I agree. Hos­pi­tal ex­ec­u­tives are used to de­cid­ing what food to serve, how many peo­ple to al­low in a hos­pi­tal room, and so forth, in­stead of cul­tur­ally en­gag­ing. Healthcare man­age­ment needs to do more lis­ten­ing in­stead of is­su­ing di­rec­tives.

How do the goals of achiev­ing the Triple Aim—bet­ter ex­pe­ri­ences and bet­ter out­comes at a lower cost per capita—in­ter­sect with im­proved ac­cess and out­comes for His­pan­ics?

Dr. Martinez: There is a huge op­por­tu­nity here to move from stand­ing still as a health sys­tem, and mov­ing out into the com­mu­nity. That leads to bet­ter pa­tient en­gage­ment, bet­ter out­comes, and early in­ter­ven­tion. The His­panic com­mu­nity pro­vides an op­por­tu­nity to cre­ate new ca­pa­bil­i­ties and in­no­vate, al­low­ing you to achieve the Triple Aim and help­ing you drive long-term suc­cess in the new en­vi­ron­ment.

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from USA

© PressReader. All rights reserved.