20 Jul White Paper: Healthcare Reform Proposals to Support Diverse Communities
Washington DC, (July 20, 2023) – Today, the Health Equity Collaborative released a new white paper titled “Healthcare Reform Proposals to Support Diverse Communities”
Disparities in healthcare access, quality, cost, and outcomes in the United States continue to pose a significant challenge for policymakers and industry leaders. These disparities include systematic differences in health and healthcare between different populations or groups, often related to socioeconomic status, race, ethnicity, gender, sexuality, age, geographic location, or other social factors. Healthcare inequities are largely rooted in social determinants of health, such as poverty, discrimination, unequal access to education, and limited resources. They are also reinforced by both public and private sector policies that fail to account for diverse needs within the U.S. population.
Healthcare inequities manifest in various ways, including in unequal access to care, lower quality of care, disparities in outcomes, weaker patient-provider relationships, limited healthcare literacy and education, and insufficient representation of diverse populations in both the healthcare profession and in clinical medical trials. Disparities also exist in treatment options, diagnostic accuracy, prescribing of medication, and the provision of preventive services.
As a result of these disparities, we observe higher rates of chronic diseases, shorter life expectancy, and higher mortality rates among marginalized or underserved populations. Moreover, unequal power dynamics, implicit biases, and cultural insensitivity can negatively impact the patient-provider relationship, leading to disparities in communication, trust, and patient satisfaction. These factors may contribute to differential treatment recommendations and negative patient experiences within the healthcare system.
This paper summarizes several causes and manifestations of healthcare inequity. It then outlines policy options to better meet the needs of diverse communities, particularly through addressing rising healthcare costs, improving access, increasing representation, and supporting innovation that reflects and benefits diverse populations.HEC-July-2023-White-Paper
About the Health Equity Collaborative:
The Health Equity Collaborative (HEC) is an advocacy initiative comprised of civil rights organizations, public health non-profits, and diverse patient groups centered around supporting equity and combatting disparities experienced by marginalized communities. HEC is officially a project of MANA Action, a 501c4 not-for-profit organization allied with MANA National, a National Latina Organization that advocates for equality and empowers Latinas through leadership development.