Derek Gee,, Apr 16, 2024     

Pastor George Nicholas, CEO of Buffalo Center for Health Equity, talks about the need to turn the data into guided action to improve the healt…

Researchers said achieving equity requires bold policy action. Numerous studies have shown that many patients of color contend with discrimination in health care settings and more often receive worse medical care than white patients, according to the report.

“Health care systems can have the opportunity to have strong reporting systems and reconciliation systems that center equity and providing accountability to ensure that there’s an easy way, for example, to anonymously or even transparently report situations involving racism or discrimination,” said Dr. Laurie Zephyrin, the Commonwealth Fund’s senior vice president for advancing health equity.

The researchers repeatedly urged broad policy goals that would ensure affordable, comprehensive and equitable health insurance coverage for all; strengthen primary care; reduce administrative barriers for patients and providers and increase investments in services such as housing and education.

“We know that in our systems, we have systemic racism and inequity in the way that care is delivered,” said OBrien-Suric. “And we know that people have implicit biases and this includes health professionals. So we’re trying to raise awareness about all of this and finding ways to not only inform people but educate people in public policy and to bring more quality affordable health care into areas that are lacking it.”

The foundation, she said, is advocating for policy and regulatory change that can improve health for white people and immigrants in rural areas, as well.

Along with New York, Massachusetts, Rhode Island, Connecticut and Hawaii had better-than-average health care performance for all groups. Oklahoma, Arkansas, West Virginia and Mississippi had health care scores below average among all groups.

The analysis was conducted using publicly available databases that reported outcomes from more than 328 million people during 2021 and 2022

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