Having a Heart for Financially-Challenged, International Attendees

Author: David McMillin       

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The Heart Rhythm Society’s scientific sessions get underway in San Francisco. Of the nearly 100 participants from World Bank–classified lower- and lower-middle income countries, 29 took advantage of HRS’ discount registration at this year’s annual event.

Best in Show 2019: Heart Rhythm Society Annual Scientific Sessions
May 8-11, 2019San Francisco, California12,000+ clinicians, scientists, and researchers in electrophysiology
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Germaine Schaefer

The Heart Rhythm Society (HRS) may be based in the U.S., but solving heart-rhythm disorders is a worldwide issue. For health-care professionals with limited financial resources, though, getting access to the latest research and insights can be challenging, so HRS decided to eliminate registration fees for self-paying attendees from countries that the World Bank classifies as lower- and lower-middle income.

“They already have to pay airfare and hotel for four nights,” Germaine Schaefer, senior director, meeting operations at HRS, told Convene. “If they’re making those investments, we want to do what we can to help lower additional expenses.”

With registration fees ranging from $1,180–$2,475 (depending on registration type), it’s a significant reduction, and it reflects the organization’s year-round aim to spread electrophysiology education to developing countries with a World Bank Discount program that slashes membership rates by half for these individuals. “It’s not really about the money,” Jay Vegso, senior director, membership at HRS, told Convene. “It’s about the mission to improve patient care.”

In 2019, of nearly 100 attendees from lower- and lower-middle income countries, 29 took advantage of the discount. Schaefer plans to offer the same free program in 2020. “Cost,” she said, “should not be the barrier.”

David McMillin is an associate editor at Convene.

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Attendees at the Heart Rhythm Society Annual Scientific Sessions chat between events.

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