Healthcare 360: Healthcare Policy and the Push for Equity

August 16, 2023

Podcast: BILH VP Discusses Healthcare Policy and the Push for Equity

This week on Healthcare 360, Dr. Rob Fields sits down with Malisa Schuyler, Vice President of Government Affairs at Beth Israel Lahey Health, to discuss healthcare policy and advancing healthcare equity in the state of Massachusetts.

Recognizing Inequity

Schuyler, whose background spans across healthcare and government to private consulting, has a wealth of knowledge to share regarding healthcare policy. Referencing the last decade in which the state started recognizing inequities in healthcare, Schuyler explains, “The state really started to see and started to understand – and this sort of was driven by work out of the attorney general’s office – that there were inequities in how providers were paid.”

She continues, “So, the inequities and access to care, the inequities to the resources, were starting to match up with the inequities in the amount of reimbursement and in resources that some institutions were able to garner over others using their market leverage.”

Advancing Health Equity

Discussing the role of healthcare providers in addressing inequity, Schuyler views providers as a starting point, trusted advisors that patients can use as their first point of contact to get connected to the services they need.

“Another really exciting area that we’re looking at across all of our modes whether they’re in our clinics or in our hospitals is data gathering,” says Schuyler. “Really looking at knowing who our patients are.”

“We talk so often about you can’t change it if you can’t measure it,” she remarks. “So with that foundational work that is creating a standard platform for measuring some of the social – some of the ethnic, racial language, gender identity – that we’re really capturing down to the patient level, so we can start to see, ‘Okay, who are we treating?’”

“And that will help us measure too [whether there are] disparities in the outcomes and the ways in that people are getting treatment.”

Every other week, we’ll chat with a leading expert in healthcare to learn about the many challenges and opportunities facing the industry. Listen to the full conversation with Malisa Schuyer here, and check in regularly for new episodes of Healthcare 360.

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