April is National Minority Health Month and this year’s theme, accelerating health equity, reminds us that the quickening pace of change in the health arena provides strategic opportunities to narrow the disparities gaps between people of color and our white friends and neighbors. This month we celebrate the huge coverage gains among immigrants, several state initiatives to remove barriers to immigrant coverage, and Georgia’s big step toward making health insurance provider directories accurate and useful.
Recent actions by the Center for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) represent an encouraging recognition–by one of the biggest payers of health care in the nation—that one-size-fits all payment reforms do not benefit everyone equally.
And they raise the question of whether some of these pay-for-performance programs should be adjusted to better address racial and ethnic health disparities.
We know you have a lot going on, and there isn’t always time to read everything. That’s why we’ve rounded up five of our most popular blogs published between January and March of this year.
Welcome to the new Health Equity Highlights monthly blog! Our Health Equity Connection newsletter has been promoted: Every month, you will now be able to find the latest health equity updates, top resources from Families USA and our partners, and important upcoming events here.
Read on to learn about new marketplace enrollment data, progress in covering immigrant children, upcoming health equity events, and more.
With a majority of states expanding Medicaid, many more people stand to gain health coverage, including those recently released from jail or prison. States are re-evaluating their policies regarding Medicaid for incarcerated residents.
We’ve taken a closer look at what states have accomplished so far to get a better idea of how this has played out across states. We found that 34 states and the District of Columbia now have some form of policy to suspend Medicaid for people in prison or jail. Here, we explain why more states should adopt this policy.
At our Health Action conference last month in Washington, D.C., we heard about the great work advocates are doing in their legislatures and communities to improve access to high-quality, affordable health care. Hear from advocates working in Colorado, Connecticut, New York, and Tennessee about their priorities for 2016.
Black History Month inspires us to celebrate the rich history, achievements, and contributions of African Americans in our nation, as well as the hard work that remains to dismantle racism and achieve true racial equality. We agree with Dr. King that fighting injustice in health care is an urgent civil rights issue central to achieving our shared dream of peace, prosperity, and equality for our children. But it is clear that a focus on health care alone will not achieve health equity for African Americans.
Communities of color have long struggled with health disparities when it comes to the prevalence and outcomes of many conditions compared to non-Hispanic whites. This means that not only are these communities more likely to have conditions like diabetes, asthma, and certain cancers, they are also more likely to be sicker and even die from them. While there are many factors that determine someone’s health status, access to care—especially preventive services—is critical to narrowing the health disparities gap for some conditions that disproportionately burden communities of color.
In early January, the Center for Medicare and Medicaid Innovation announced its first program focused on addressing a patient’s social needs. This 5-year, $157 million pilot program, called Accountable Health Communities, will try to bridge the gap between clinical and social services, testing whether addressing these needs can improve health, lower costs, and improve quality for Medicare and Medicaid beneficiaries.
These infographics illustrate how health insurance helps address health disparities affecting racial and ethnic minorities.