Aug 22, 2022



How Healthgrades Improves Healthcare Access for All

Healthcare access gaps prevent some patients from receiving the care they need, but Healthgrades is working to close these gaps for good. Here’s how:

Healthcare isn’t always easy to access, especially for underserved communities wrestling with disproportionate rates of chronic illness, financial difficulties, and social discrimination. To account for these access gaps, many patients today must take charge of their healthcare journey and search far and wide for a doctor or specialist who best suits their needs. By offering patients inclusive perspectives and transparent information about a doctor’s medical expertise, hospital quality, and even affordability, Healthgrades helps make it easier for patients to access the right doctor and the right treatment. Here’s a closer look at how we do it.

Expanding Patient Access with Culturally Competent Solutions

On, all videos, blog articles, and white papers are thoughtfully crafted through a culturally sensitive lens so patients can learn more about how health conditions affect their communities, thus empowering them to seek personalized, nuanced care. Condition-specific PatientConnect Hubs that house medically-reviewed articles, patient testimonials, and explainer videos serve as a centralized resource for patients seeking treatment-related information. Take our Finding Relief from Uterine Fibroids hub, as an example.

Any person with a uterus can develop uterine fibroids, but uterine fibroids disproportionately affect Black women.1 Over 80 percent of Black women develop uterine fibroids by the time they turn 50, and Black women are up to three times more likely to be treated with hysterectomy to remove uterine fibroids than any other racial group–despite the availability of other effective alternatives to preserve fertility. 

While various personal factors can contribute to the development of uterine fibroids, other causes beyond a patient’s control can elevate their risk. For example, the prevalence of uterine fibroids in Black women can be partly attributed to the fact that one out of every five Black households is located in a food desert—an area with limited access to affordable, nutritious food. Highly processed foods that provide little nutrition and excessive calories can lead to weight gain and other conditions tied to vitamin and mineral deficiencies. Studies suggest that obesity can contribute to the development of uterine fibroids, meaning that socioeconomic issues put Black women at a higher risk for this condition.

Black women need a way to access relevant healthcare information that explains these factors. They also need to explore the spectrum of treatment options and find physicians with experience treating the unique needs of BIPOC patients. Healthgrades created this PatientConnect Hub tailored specifically to Black women with uterine fibroids to help solve this access challenge. The hub includes appointment guides, pain management advice, physician perspectives, and more, all focusing on Black women and their experience with this condition. The hub also includes relevant advertising for an oral treatment specifically indicated for heavy menstrual bleeding due to uterine fibroids.   

But our work hasn’t stopped there. We continue to expand our DEI-focused PatientConnect Hub offerings, our most recent additions being our Spanish Language PatientConnect Hub and Spanish Language Video Center. As our library of DEI-focused resources grows, we continually conduct gap analyses to update our inclusive editorial guidelines and keep ourselves accountable and aligned with what patients need. 

Enhancing Transparency for Greater Physician Access

Choosing the right doctor involves more than just picking the closest in-network practice. Patients use Healthgrades’ verified reviews to weigh convenience, compatibility, physician experience, hospital quality, and more to find the healthcare professional who best suits their needs. According to the 2021 RepuGen Patient Review Survey, which gathered input from over 1700 respondents nationwide, 75 percent of patients under 60 depend on solid and positive reviews when selecting a healthcare practice. Studies have also indicated a strong correlation between frequency of treatment and patient health outcomes, illustrating that choosing the right doctor—one who’s most experienced with your condition—can be a matter of life or death.

All PatientConnect Hubs feature Healthgrades’ Guided Physician Search (GPS), which displays doctor profiles alongside relevant content for higher engagement. For instance, people reading an article about uterine fibroids will come across a list of top-rated specialists in their area, with an invitation to visit the specialist’s Healthgrades profile for further information or to book an appointment in-person or via telehealth.

Healthgrades has also partnered with OutCare Health, a nationwide organization dedicated to LGBTQ+ health equity. Unfortunately, discrimination is still a cause for concern in the medical community and can adversely impact LGBTQ+ patients in their search for care. Healthgrades and OutCare are working to increase cultural competency, inclusivity, and affirmation within the Healthgrades network through data sharing, education, and training. 

Access Challenges for Pharma Marketers

For pharma marketers, reaching the right patient and doctor has become even more challenging. While alternative care locations make care easier to access, they don’t make up for traditional health settings that can provide intensive and specialized treatment. Delays in care also persist, especially as COVID waves continue to bring influxes of patients to health systems still reeling from staffing shortages. These two factors affect how patients choose the doctors they see and, ultimately, which prescription treatments are available to them. With 20 percent of doctors writing 80 percent of brand-name prescriptions, connecting high-value patients to the small population of frequent prescribers who write most is key to driving conversions.

Half of all Americans who visit a doctor this year will visit, making it the #1 platform for reaching patients on their way to the doctor. Healthgrades offers solutions to pharma marketers looking to link their DTC and HCP advertising efforts. 

Prioritizing Healthcare Access with Healthgrades

Improving healthcare access for all should be a collaborative effort between health systems and pharma brands. Healthgrades bridges the gap by offering patients open access to the information they need to make informed decisions about their health, while also making it easier for pharma marketers to reach high-value patients when they’re most engaged.

After searching for care on Healthgrades, 67 percent of visitors book a doctor’s appointment within a week. As a Healthgrades partner, you’ll be able to tap into this low-funnel audience and target high-value healthcare professionals with contextual ads, relevant content, and multiple access points. Contact us today to find out how Healthgrades can help close the gaps in your marketing strategy and drive incremental scripts.

1 Uterine fibroids can also affect trans men who have not undergone a hysterectomy. However, this section will focus on the prevalence of uterine fibroids in Black women, as numerous studies indicate a correlation between this patient group and higher rates of uterine fibroids.