Access to quality healthcare has always been a challenge for the Latino community in the United States. Many barriers, such as language, cultural differences, and economic disparities, hinder the provision of adequate healthcare services. In fact, 20.9% of Hispanics or Latinos in the U.S. were uninsured in 2020, significantly higher than the national average of 9.7% (Kaiser Family Foundation, 2021) . Zócalo Health and Cost Plus Drugs have joined forces to tackle these challenges head-on and provide affordable, culturally competent healthcare to the Latino community.
Disparities in Healthcare for the Latino Community
The Latino community faces multiple barriers in accessing quality primary care services. High prescription drug costs are one of the most significant challenges, with nearly 30% of individuals taking prescription medications struggling to afford the cost (Kaiser Family Foundation, 2019) . The burden falls most heavily on those making less than $40,000 a year and having medication costs over $100. Latinos are disproportionately affected, as they are more likely to require medications for chronic health conditions and often do not have the ability to pay pharmacy prices. For instance, Hispanic adults are 66% more likely to be diagnosed with diabetes compared to non-Hispanic white adults (Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 2021) . This situation forces many Latino individuals to make the impossible choice between life-saving medications and putting food on the table.
Culturally Competent Primary Care Services by Zócalo Health
Recognizing the importance of trust and cultural fluency in healthcare, Zócalo Health has developed a primary care model that blends tradition with innovation. Each member of Zócalo Health is paired with a promotor de salud (community health worker) who establishes a relationship to better understand the member's goals and connect them to a culturally aligned Zócalo Health physician. This team of physicians, hired from the community, focuses on prevention, primary care, behavioral health, and traditional practices that work together to support the members' wellness.
Zócalo Health and Cost Plus Drugs: A Collaborative Approach
The collaboration between Zócalo Health and Cost Plus Drugs seeks to integrate the transparent pricing and convenience offered by Cost Plus Drugs with Zócalo Health's culturally fluent care navigation team. All users of Zócalo Health gain access to Cost Plus Drugs' prescriptions through membership packages or one-time urgent care visits. Both companies share the common goal of providing consumers the lowest possible price for their prescription medication while ensuring a seamless experience for patients.
The Role of Healthcare Navigation in the Zócalo Health Experience
Zócalo Health care navigators or promotoras de salud, play a crucial role in assisting members interested in transferring their medications. They answer questions, coordinate with the provider on the member's behalf, and help maximize access to low-cost options like Cost Plus Drugs. Their efforts aim to improve the overall experience of medication management for the Latino patient while gradually building the trust needed for long-term relationships and ongoing care management.
The Impact of Transparent Pricing on Prescription Drug Affordability
Cost Plus Drugs' transparent pricing model charges a standard markup on every drug it sells. This approach benefits consumers by providing a fair price and the convenience of medication mailed directly to their homes. In fact, research has shown that transparency in healthcare pricing can lead to reduced healthcare costs (Health Affairs, 2019) . Moreover, Cost Plus Drugs is working with health plans, managed-care organizations, pharmacy benefits managers (PBMs), and self-insured employers to extend these savings to employer-sponsored benefit plans nationwide.
The collaboration between Zócalo Health and Cost Plus Drugs has the potential to revolutionize healthcare access and affordability for the Latino community in the United States. By working together to address healthcare disparities and incorporating transparent pricing, we pave the way for more inclusive, equitable, and culturally competent healthcare experiences. With a continued focus on trust, innovation, and cultural alignment, Zócalo Health and Cost Plus Drugs are making strides toward ensuring that affordable, culturally responsive healthcare becomes a reality for the Latino community, ultimately eliminating existing disparities and improving health outcomes for millions of individuals.
 Kaiser Family Foundation. (2021). Health Insurance Coverage of the Total Population. Retrieved from https://www.kff.org/other/state-indicator/total-population/?dataView=1¤tTimeframe=0&sortModel=%7B%22colId%22:%22Location%22,%22sort%22:%22asc%22%7D
 Kaiser Family Foundation. (2019). How Many of the Uninsured Can Purchase a Marketplace Plan for Free in 2020? Retrieved from https://www.kff.org/health-reform/issue-brief/how-many-of-the-uninsured-can-purchase-a-marketplace-plan-for-free-in-2020/
 Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. (2021). National Diabetes Statistics Report, 2021. Retrieved from https://www.cdc.gov/diabetes/pdfs/data/statistics/national-diabetes-statistics-report.pdf
 Health Affairs. (2019). Increased Price Transparency in Health Care — Challenges and Potential Effects. Retrieved from https://www.healthaffairs.org/doi/full/10.1377/hlthaff.2011.1270