Increasing Health Equity through Patient Empowerment and Access to Care

Yolanda Curtis is General Manager for Cognosante‚Äôs Health and Interoperability business unit. She leads complex programs that help Federal and state government health agencies deliver on their missions to serve American citizens.  

This Black History Month, highlighting Black Health and Wellness, Yolanda shares her perspective on how health equity and access to healthcare can better serve Black Americans, and how Cognosante is advancing healthcare for all Americans through innovative technology solutions. 


I have spent most of my career in public health and believe in the responsibility of providing quality healthcare to all Americans‚ÄĒregardless of a person‚Äôs culture, socioeconomic status, or other social determinants of health. Sadly, many people of color continue to be disproportionately affected by poor health conditions. As a nation, we are just beginning to recognize the impact that factors like systemic racism can have on the health status of Black Americans and other people of color. 

As the leader of Cognosante‚Äôs Health and Interoperability business unit, I am privileged to lead a team dedicated to helping customers implement solutions that reduce disparities in access to healthcare and advance health equity. Black History Month is one of many opportunities to reflect as a nation, as organizations, and as individuals, on which aspects of healthcare are moving forward, and which are not, in the journey toward achieving health equity and improving access to healthcare. 

Challenges and opportunities are evident: 

  • Our current healthcare system and public health infrastructure must evolve into a more integrated health data ecosystem.
  • Data interoperability is crucial to solving health equity challenges and is key to making patient-centric care possible 
  • Complex ‚Äúdata ingestion‚ÄĚ and insights gained from data illuminate new opportunities to get ahead of small problems that may only get bigger. 

Technology and new ways of thinking can transform the healthcare and social service systems into a future state in which healthcare is provided equitably to all. Cognosante‚Äôs health solutions help Federal and state agencies ensure that:  

Healthcare data is actionable. Health equity occurs when citizens are empowered to access affordable, quality healthcare and have the information they need to make informed decisions about their personal health. Leveraging our expertise around data standards and healthcare interoperability, we are building the infrastructure and applications that allow patients and providers to easily access information in electronic health record (EHR) systems, often in real time.   

It becomes easier for people in underserved communities to obtain affordable health insurance. Through our support of the Affordable Care Act (ACA), Cognosante is helping the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) expand access to affordable healthcare. Our teams make an impact by providing technical assistance to state-based exchanges or federal marketplace where citizens can purchase their own health insurance. We also ensure consumer enrollment complaints are captured and routed for analysis and resolution.

Health agencies can identify systemic challenges that prevent individuals and families from receiving the care they need. The complex data ingestion and integration systems we have developed and implemented offer valuable insight into unforeseen opportunities to improve access to care. Cognosante uses data analytics, automation, machine learning, and business intelligence to propose solutions to current and emerging health threats. 

Health truly is wealth. Together with our customers and technology partners, we can transform the American healthcare and social service systems to be more equitable for all Americans. 


Learn more about how we’re partnering with Federal and state government to advance the health of all Americans through our Interoperability, Customer Experience, Data Science solutions, and data warehousing.



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