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12.07.2020 / Press Release

Health Care Advocacy Groups Offer New Strategies to Help California Boost Health Equity and Advance Racial Justice in Health Care System

As COVID-19 continues to devastate families’ health and financial well-being—especially in Black, Latinx, and other communities of color—the California Pan-Ethnic Health Network (CPEHN) and Families USA have published a groundbreaking report to help California policymakers address health inequities and racial injustice in the state.

Centering Equity in Health Care Delivery and Payment Reform: A Guide for California Policymakers
outlines six key strategies and 21 recommendations directly tying the California health care payment and delivery system to concrete improvements in health equity. The recommendations cut across the following six strategies:

  • Center Equity in Quality and Payment
  • Engage Patients, Families & Caregivers
  • Strengthen Culturally & Linguistically Appropriate Care
  • Improve & Integrate Physical, Behavioral & Oral Health Care
  • Hold Health Plans and Systems Accountable
  • Improve Social Determinants of health

CPEHN and Families USA are urging elected officials to use this report as a blueprint to enact bold policy solutions that will center California’s health care system on health equity, reduce health inequities, and improve all people’s health in the state. If implemented, the proposals also have the potential for broader racial justice implications in other states and nationally.

“The pandemic has accelerated our nation’s understanding of the inequities built into the health care system and shined a light on that the very lives of people of color hang in the balance. It has also underscored that we need to challenge the incentives that drive injustice to address racism in health care. The payments made to our hospitals and providers should require that they are focused on ensuring that the very best health is available to every living soul in our nation,” said Frederick Isasi, Executive Director of Families USA. “CPEHN’s report is a blueprint for positioning health equity in how we value and pay for health care services. The recommendations provide clear, actionable steps towards reform by addressing key barriers that make it difficult for vulnerable families and communities to access high quality, affordable care. Leaders at every level of federal, state, and local government should use them to address systemic racism and improve health across the health care system.”

“Although California has a national reputation for advancing progressive health care policies, California’s communities of color, including lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and queer (LGBTQ+) individuals and persons with disabilities, continue to experience discrimination and have poorer outcomes than other Californians on key health indicators,” said Kiran Savage-Sangwan, Executive Director of CPEHN. “Despite a stated commitment to addressing disparities, very few payment and delivery reform efforts are tied to measurably reducing them. Embracing these strategies now will put us on a path toward a more equitable and accessible health care system.”


The California Pan-Ethnic Health Network is a multicultural health advocacy organization dedicated to improving the health of communities of color in California. CPEHN’s mission is to advance health equity by advocating for public policies and sufficient resources to address the health needs of the state’s new majority. We gather the strength of community to build a united and powerful voice in health advocacy. More about CPEHN can be found here: www.cpehn.org

Families USA, a leading national voice for health care consumers, is dedicated to the achievement of high quality, affordable health care and improved health for all. More about Families USA can be found here: www.familiesusa.org