ACCEL Program Launched to Improve Healthcare Access for Sickle Cell Patients

Catarina Silva, MSc avatar

by Catarina Silva, MSc |

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Global Blood Therapeutics (GBT) intends to improve access to high-quality healthcare for people with sickle cell disease (SCD) in the U.S. through the recently launched Access to Excellent Care for Sickle Cell Patients Pilot Program (ACCEL).

The company will donate up to $150,000 to speed the development of promising programs aimed at delivering high-quality healthcare to SCD patients.

“Studies show that healthcare delivery to people living with SCD is typically suboptimal. For example, in the United States, fewer than 10 percent of Medicaid and Medicare patients living with SCD see a hematologist at least once per year and approximately 20 percent of SCD patients receive most of their care in the emergency room,” Jung Choi, who oversees patient advocacy and government affairs at GBT, said in a press release.

Last year, during the GBT-sponsored Sickle Cell Disease Access to Care Summit, a group of SCD experts exchanged ideas and shared examples of successful solutions to address the inequities and challenges in access to care facing the SCD community.

Case studies presented at the meeting provided an encouraging glimpse of what is possible to do for SCD patients. Mentioned approaches included: establishing a dedicated sickle cell disease clinic or day clinic within an existing hospital or medical center; collaborating with local providers to develop a network to broaden access to providers with SCD expertise; creating programs to improve the transition between pediatric and adult care, and; using existing infrastructure to engage non-SCD stakeholders in the care of sickle cell disease patients.

During the conference, attendees put their vision on paper and drafted models to help disseminate best practices and to encourage the start of new sickle cell disease access-to-care programs.

ACCEL will build on what was discussed at the summit.

Applications should be submitted by 5 p.m. PST on May 1 to [email protected].

SCD experts from GBT and external stakeholders will review the proposals and select three of them based on strength, degree of innovation, and highest potential impact for patient care. Each project will receive up to $50,000 during a 12-month period.

“We are excited to launch ACCEL to encourage the development of innovative solutions to provide underserved SCD patients with better access to high-quality care and support,” Choi said.