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Advocacy: Leverage engagement

Advocacy: Leverage engagement

Ryan Bullock

Q. What role can I play in health care advocacy?

A. As we know, there is no shortage of disparities that exist in health care, yet unfortunately, many of these disparities are systemic and are oftentimes left unnoticed. As an industry, it is our responsibility to leverage our engagement with patients and health plans to remove barriers that prevent equitable access to care. Recent studies have shown that despite the improvements in the overall health of the country, racial and ethnic minorities still experience a lower quality of health care and are less likely to receive routine medical care – increasing their risks for higher rates of morbidity and mortality than non-minorities. Other recent reports show that even when there are health plans to address disparities, historically oppressed and disadvantaged populations are still faced with more challenges.

How do health care providers play a role in advocacy?

Health care providers, as experts, have the responsibility to vocalize policies that promote equitable care and remove the barriers that are currently blocking patient access. There are several ways to achieve this:

  • Collaborate with stakeholders for policy development to create processes and protocols that are patient-centric, easy to digest and efficient for all parties involved.
  • Organize meetings between patients, providers and health plans to understand where disparities are most common and the current struggles individuals are experiencing with accessing care.
  • Combine efforts with other health care organizations and providers to support similar advocacy efforts.

Working together allows us to better educate lawmakers and offer equitable solutions. Entering a new year, now is the perfect time for our industry to enact change and begin advocating for those who lack access to care.

Ryan Bullock is COO at Aeroflow Healthcare. Reach him at


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