Respondents cite economic issues related to treatment, which can be compounded for patients living in rural areas
By Lori Solomon HealthDay Reporter
MONDAY, April 10, 2023 (HealthDay News) — Diagnosing and treating patients with hereditary angioedema (HAE) is an ongoing challenge, particularly for rural residents, according to a study published online March 12 in the Annals of Allergy, Asthma & Immunology.
J. Allen Meadows, M.D., from the Alabama College of Osteopathic Medicine in Montgomery, and colleagues collected experiences of allergy and immunology health professionals in diagnosing and treating patients with HAE, including those living in rural settings. The analysis included survey responses from 138 members of the American College of Allergy, Asthma, and Immunology.
The researchers found that respondents reported seeing an average of nine patients with HAE yearly, of whom 12 percent resided in a rural area. HAE type I was most common (66 percent) versus 15 percent with type II and 19 percent with HAE C1nl-INH. The top reported diagnostic challenge was misdiagnosis (82 percent). Inability to afford treatment was the top treatment challenge (76 percent). Additionally, respondents noted that patients with HAE with government insurance have a disadvantage because it is not accepted by many specialists who treat HAE (64 percent), but respondents suggest that better payments for drugs from Medicaid and Medicare (57 percent) and better payments to providers from Medicaid and Medicare (49 percent) could support improved treatment of patients in rural settings. Nearly one-quarter of respondents (23 percent) acknowledged they have patients who must travel for an hour or more to get to their practice. Since the COVID-19 pandemic, the majority of respondents (86 percent) used telehealth for appointments occasionally.
“We have highlighted real challenges to the diagnosis and management of patients with HAE which can be compounded for those living in rural areas,” the authors write.
The authors disclosed financial ties to the pharmaceutical industry.
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