Heart disease is the leading killer of all Americans, but it strikes blacks at an even more alarming rate.
On June 30, 2015, the National Minority Quality Forum (NMQF) submitted a proposed performance measure/consensus standard to the National Quality Forum (NQF) for the treatment of chronic heart failure with the fixed-dose combination of isosorbide dinitrate and hydralazine hydrochloride. The proposed measure looks at therapy for self-identified Black or African American patients with heart failure.
This long overdue, quality measure reflects the appropriate standard of care for African Americans with Heart Failure. The goal is to advance an important improvement in the care of African Americans with Heart Failure, and show progress towards eradicating this terrible disparity in our healthcare system.
The proposed measure would promote awareness of appropriate treatment, help tout the benefits of such treatments to relevant parties, and strongly encourage healthcare providers to ensure that eligible African American patients are afforded every reasonable tool to combat cardiovascular disease, including cutting edge prescription drugs.
Today, only a very small number (about 7%) of African Americans who are clinical eligible for the FDA-approved therapy are getting it. As a consequence, over 6,500 blacks die prematurely every year because they are not receiving or adhering to standard of care.
This situation cannot be allowed to continue.