NPHI Hosts Discussion on U.S. Mortality Rates in the Time of COVID-19 (7.22.21)

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NPHI Hosts Discussion on U.S. Mortality Rates in the Time of COVID-19 (7.22.21)

NPHI Hosts Discussion on U.S. Mortality Rates in the Time of COVID-19

Today, the National Partnership for Healthcare and Hospice Innovation (NPHI) was pleased to hear from study author, associate professor, and Interim Director of the Virginia Commonwealth University (VCU) Center on Society and Health, Derek Chapman, PhD. The VCU Center on Society and Health seeks to improve population health and well-being through social determinants of health research, community engagement, and communications. Dr. Chapman has been a faculty member in the Division of Epidemiology in the VCU Department of Family Medicine and Population Health since 2014. Prior to that, Dr. Chapman worked in state health departments as a maternal and child health epidemiologist and informed programs and policy of his applied public health research.

This Member Engagement call presented on recent statistics relating to an increase in U.S. mortality rates, specifically the recent JAMA study co-conducted by Dr. Chapman that analyzed U.S. mortality in March-July 2020. Dr. Chapman provided an overview on the rise in excess deaths and highlighted that they can be explained only partly by COVID-19; other notable causes of death include heart disease and Alzheimer’s disease. The conversation offered implications for NPHI membership, including a thorough illustration of social determinants of health and the influence of access to transportation, education, economic stability, employment opportunities, built environment, and structural racism on population health.

“A thorough and detailed approach to discussing life expectancy rates and causes of deaths secondary to the pandemic, like delayed care, economic stress, and the behavioral health crisis is critical,” said Tom Koutsoumpas, CEO of NPHI. “Truly understanding the root cause of these excess deaths is key, especially during this time. It is with this in mind that we were grateful to welcome Dr. Chapman to address our membership on this important research and its implications for NPHI members.”

The conversation, entitled “Excess Deaths from COVID-19 and Other Causes in the US,” was part of a biweekly series of NPHI-hosted discussions to address today’s pressing hospice topics through engagement with health policy experts, thought leaders, and other industry innovators. The discussion was meant to present on recent data that reported a 20% increase in excess deaths and explore the root causes and implications of this study. Dr. Chapman discussed decreasing life expectancy rates as well as the increased vulnerability to COVID-19 some populations face and how this relates to healthcare access and overwhelmed health care systems. Click here to learn more about this series or how to become an NPHI member.

The National Partnership for Healthcare & Hospice Innovation (NPHI) is a collaborative of 70+ not-for-profit, community-integrated hospice and palliative care providers dedicated to ensuring patients and their families have access to care that reflects their individual goals, values, and preferences. Representing providers from 31 states and the District of Columbia, NPHI and its members help design more innovative and effective models of care, advocate for comprehensive and community-integrated care customized to meet each person’s unique needs, and build collaboration between national thought leaders, decision-makers, and other healthcare stakeholders to improve hospice care.