Just as the coronavirus pandemic strains states and the nation, it also has stressed the resources of neighborhoods and individuals — and those with fewer resources to spare are clearly faring worse.
In short, the COVID-19 pandemic has dramatically highlighted social inequities in health. Our work reflects our efforts to reach more people more often and with more targeted resources and policies.
- Our advocacy efforts included expanding Medicaid coverage in Missouri and defending existing Medicaid expansion in Oklahoma and Iowa.
- 911 dispatchers are now required to be trained to recognize cardiac arrest over the phone and give clear instructions for CPR to bystanders in Arkansas, Montana and Texas.
- And we helped assure that cardiac rehabilitation is available for Medicaid patients through telehealth services in Maryland, West Virginia, Kentucky and Arkansas.
- Hypertension is a major risk factor for poor health outcomes and mortality, and it disproportionally harms people from underrepresented racial and ethnic groups. The AHA has joined a national coalition of physician organizations and heart-health experts teaming with ESSENCE magazine to empower Black women to improve their heart health and control their blood pressure. The “Release the Pressure” campaign included resources women can use to track blood pressure, develop a wellness plan and make self-care a priority for a healthy heart.
- A new policy statement advocates self-measured blood pressure monitoring. With fewer patients visiting medical offices during the pandemic, blood pressure monitoring at home is important. Improvements in patient education, health team training and insurance coverage are needed for broader adoption, according to the statement.
- Medicare will begin paying eligible practitioners for 11 additional services delivered via telehealth, including some cardiac rehabilitation and monitoring.
- The 2020 American Heart Association CPR & ECC Guidelines were released Oct. 21 during a series of virtual events attended by more than 26,000 people. This is the first joint release of new guidelines and products for both cardiopulmonary resuscitation and emergency cardiovascular care.
- The AHA and Laerdal Medical are collaborating with Area9 Lyceum to deliver personalized resuscitation learning experiences through RQI® True Adaptive™. Artificial intelligence is used to deliver customized resuscitation education based on learners’ individual needs and knowledge level.
- Along with RQI Partners LLC the AHA has signed a five-year, $46 million contract with the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs to deliver Resuscitation Quality Improvement and HeartCode as its solution for resuscitation training. The goal is to make every health care provider in the VA system part of the AHA resuscitation family and dedicated to saving more lives.
- The first-ever neonatal resuscitation quality solution is underway. The American Academy of Pediatrics and RQI Partners LLC are collaborating to create new educational programs in U.S. hospitals. The five-year agreement continues the AAP’s decadeslong relationship with the AHA and Laerdal.
- The Dubai Health Authority debuted an AHA-designed CPR training program, with the goal of achieving a 65% survival rate from out-of-hospital sudden cardiac arrest. That rate is currently 5% to 10% globally.
- The AHA and the Heart and Stroke Foundation of Canada unveiled a digital resuscitation portfolio that’s available to health care professionals in Canada.