How Healthcare Providers Can Reach Underserved Patients During #BlackLivesMatter and COVID-19

One of the biggest realizations our country’s leaders have made during the renewed Black Lives Matter movement and throughout the COVID-19 pandemic is that our nation’s healthcare systems contain significant inequities for people of color — especially for the Black community.

Examples of Healthcare Inequities for Black Americans

Countless studies confirm that Black Americans receive inferior healthcare to other racial groups (especially compared to white Americans), but here are a few statistics highlighting healthcare disparities for Black Americans:

• Black children have a 500% higher death rate from asthma compared with white children

• Black women are 3x more likely to die of pregnancy-related causes than white women

• Black Americans are more likely to die from cancer and heart disease than white Americans

How Black Americans View Healthcare

Partly because of the known racial disparities in healthcare quality, Black Americans are likely to distrust doctors and similar healthcare providers. For example, a 2007 study published by the National Institutes of Health found:

• Black and Hispanic people reported higher levels of physician distrust than white respondents

• Lower socioeconomic status (i.e., lower income, lower education, and lack of health insurance) is associated with more distrust of physicians — For context, Black Americans make up 20.8% of our nation’s families living in poverty, compared with white Americans at 10.1%.

• Men are more likely than women to distrust physicians

These study results tell us that not only are Black Americans less likely to receive quality healthcare; they are also less likely to trust the healthcare providers from whom they do receive care.[1]

How Healthcare Providers Can Build Trust with Black Americans During ‘Black Lives Matter’ and COVID-19

Unfortunately, even healthcare providers with robust Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion (DEI) policies cannot turn around systemic inequities or build healthy relationships with the Black community overnight. Physicians, hospitals, and other health networks must work through cross-sector relationships to build trust with Black patients.

We developed Live Chair Health because we know that Black Americans — and especially Black men — are very likely to distrust healthcare providers such as doctors. However, like everyone, Black men place a lot of trust with the people and organizations with whom they have already built long-term relationships… Including their barbers.

With Live Chair, Black men across the country build strong relationships with professional barbers who not only trim their hair, but also offer healthcare support. Each time a client has an appointment with us:

• A professional barber gives them a clean, handsome haircut.

• Their barber also measures their vital signs, including blood pressure, BMI, and HRA.

• Their barber can help them understand their health insurance options, even helping filling out relevant paperwork if needed.

• Finally, their barber will refer them to relevant health services, including through hospital networks, private healthcare systems, nonprofit clinics, and more.

How Your Healthcare Company Can Partner with Live Chair Health

Contact us to let us know about the healthcare services you offer, and how you could benefit our clients. We’ll get in touch as soon as we can to talk about partnership opportunities!

Other stories you might like: