Dr Sophia Humphreys Explains Health Equity in Metabolic Health Care


With the high burden of metabolic disease increasing in the US, Sophia Humphreys, PharmD, Sutter Health, explains how this impacts health equity.

Amid the increasing burden of diabetes and heart failure in the US, Sophia Humphreys, PharmD, MHA, BCBBS, Sutter Health, explained how this impacts the equity of health care in an interview before her presentation at The American Journal of Managed Care® (AJMC®) Institute for Value-Based Medicine® event hosted by Sutter Health in San Francisco, California.

As the director of Formulary Management and Clinical Services, Humphreys’ “passion is to bring the highest quality medication to our patients with the lowest cost for our society.”


Your presentation began with the increasing burden of diabetes and heart failure. What does this rapidly growing burden mean for the future of treatment and care?

That's a very good question. As you know, our population is aging; as our population ages, in the meantime, we're seeing obesity become more and more prevalent. With obesity, we see higher risk and higher incidence of diabetes. That's why we see the growing epidemiology of diabetes. As you know, diabetes is a higher risk factor for both stroke and cardiovascular issues. And we are seeing a high burden both on our patients as well as our health care system.

Sutter [Health] is a nonprofit health system. We see a diverse population here in Northern California. So it is our passion to provide the best quality care to improve our population health and improve patients’ quality of life and, in the meantime, maintain affordability for all.

Can you elaborate on the health equity concerns you highlighted related to heart failure?

In the beginning, when we studied heart failure treatment, really, health equity was not a primary focus. However, recent studies have revealed that we are seeing the different marginalized socioeconomic groups and the different racial groups have higher risk as well as lower clinical outcomes, even if they have similar access to care. So health equity is becoming more and more important to our health care leaders, as well as our entire industry as scientists focus. So, in Northern California, we have a diverse population, we have a very high percentage of African Americans, we have a very high percentage of Hispanic population, as well as Asian and Pacific Islanders. So, we really wanted to make sure that all of our patients across racial, across socioeconomic backgrounds, across payer mix, all receive the highest quality of care, within Sutter and without Sutter and within the entire region.

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