Things have been pretty busy in the health equity world since last month’s blog. In addition to celebrating Asian American and Pacific Islander Heritage Month, we received news that uninsured rates are the lowest ever (woo-hoo!), Medi-Cal coverage for undocumented children in California became a reality, the long-awaited health anti-discrimination rule was published, as was the rule on Medicaid managed care.
Across the country, there is tremendous momentum to change how health care is delivered and paid for in order to improve quality and to curb costs. These initiatives to transform the health system have the potential to improve care for everyone, and could directly address health disparities. Advocates must actively engage in these reform efforts—both to protect communities of color from harm and to take maximum advantage of opportunities to transform health care delivery to better serve people of color.
Explains value-based insurance design and high-value care, outlines the key elements that value-based insurance should include.
We all want value for the dollar when we make a big purchase. Especially when we buy something expensive, we want to know that we're getting a high-quality product that makes a hit to the bank account worth it. When it comes to health insurance, it can be hard to know if you're getting a good deal. Health plans can come with pages of fine print and endless caveats.
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.
Efforts to shift to a value-based health care system create an opportunity to improve the quality of care and health outcomes, save money for consumers and the health care system as a whole, and drive reductions in health disparities. But such positive outcomes from payment and delivery reform efforts are not guaranteed. There are some elements of this proposed rule that can help reduce health disparities, but a real commitment to health equity requires additional steps from CMS.
The State Innovation Model (SIM) grant program gives states funding and technical assistance to design and test new ways to provide and pay for health care. This brief examines the six states that received Round 1 SIM Testing grants to identify best practices for consumer advocate engagement.
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.
The impact of a proposed Trump administration rule extends well beyond the directly targeted individuals and families whose health will be at risk. A community’s overall health depends on the health of all of its members. The impact of this proposed rule will spill over to others in many ways. Without insurance, families may delay care or forego it altogether. This means there will be more children in school, and adults in the workplace, without needed preventive services and untreated illnesses. More people delaying care until the last possible moment will strain emergency resources. Hospitals’ and clinics’ uncompensated care burdens will increase.
Racial discrimination in the United States is pervasive and affects health outcomes and access to health care on multiple levels—from the interpersonal, to the institutional, to deeper structural divides. Such ingrained racism creates significant barriers for people of color, making it harder for them to get equal access to jobs, housing, education, and health care services.