Health advocates share the hope that the Affordable Care Act will reduce the racial and ethnic health disparities that remain realities in today’s health care system. These disparities transcend age, gender, and ailment.
The Health Equity and Accountability Act: Improving Collection of Racial and Ethnic Data to Reduce Health Disparities
Racial and ethnic minorities are more likely to suffer from disparities in health status and their access to quality health care. Health advocates have long argued that one key prerequisite to lessening these disparities (achieving health equity) is to quantify the problem through better data collection and analysis across the health care field. The Health Equity and Accountability Act (HEAA), which sets out a comprehensive and ambitious strategy to tackle health disparities, would also make big improvements to data collection.
Last week, Rep. Lucile Roybal-Allard, chairwoman of the Congressional Hispanic Caucus’s health task force, introduced the Health Equity and Accountability Act (HEAA) of 2014. This legislation is the latest effort by the Congressional Black Caucus, Congressional Hispanic Caucus, and Congressional Asian and Pacific Islander Caucus to enact a comprehensive plan to eliminate the health disparities that plague communities of color and other groups. In every legislative session since 2003, lawmakers have introduced similar bills seeking to improve health outcomes for minority groups.
Health information technology (HealthIT) offers many powerful tools in the fight to eliminate disparities in the delivery of care and health outcomes. From identifying variation in care delivery and outcomes by demographic group to harnessing the power of mobile devices to collect and share health data, the opportunities to leverage HealthIT in the promotion of health equity are plentiful.
Each month, we weigh in on selected news stories and trending debates that are shaping the direction of health care policy.
The start of the second open enrollment period is less than 50 days away. Like many of you, I’ve been finding myself increasingly caught up in the whirlwind of activity around preparations for the new enrollment season—ensuring that America’s working families have the information and resources they need to get covered and stay covered.
On March 5, the Department of the Treasury and IRS issued final rules on how employers report their employees’ health insurance. This was the last of a series of rules needed for implementing the requirement that large employers provide health insurance to their workers, or pay a penalty if they do not.
We asked our policy experts to share their picks for 2014’s must-read—or, in some cases, must-see—articles, reports, videos, and more. Today, Caitlin Morris of our Health System Transformation team kicks off the series. See more best of” lists from our teams working on marketplace health insurance and enrollment.
In large part, 2014 was about demonstrating that a commitment to transparency and good medical evidence can improve health care. Part of that involves acknowledging our own shortcomings as we seek to transform the health care system.
When more than 300 advocates gathered at Families USA’s first annual health policy conference to discuss how to preserve and strengthen Medicaid, health reform was still a goal on the horizon. That was January 1996. Today, we’re gearing up for Families USA’s 20th Health Action Conference
Keeping and Using Health Coverage: Steps That Consumers Should Take after Enrolling in Health Insurance
Now that open enrollment has ended, enrollment assisters are turning to the next phase of their work: 1) Helping consumers who did not get enrolled by March 31 figure out whether they can still sign up for health insurance, and 2) helping consumers who did sign up learn how to use and keep their health insurance. To help enrollment assisters answer new questions from consumers, we’ve created four new factsheets.
Proposed New Quality Rating Systems Will Allow Consumers to Rate Health Plans in the Health Insurance Marketplaces
Consumers will soon have a powerful new tool that allows them to use data to measure the quality of different health plans offered in their state’s health insurance marketplace. This tool is based on the new Quality Rating System (QRS) proposed by the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS). It is a notable step forward in the adoption of employing consumer-friendly data transparency practices to help individuals make data-driven, informed decisions about their health care choices.