5 business reforms that can reduce healthcare disparities

For decades, healthcare organizations have known minority and disadvantaged populations tend to have poorer health outcomes and receive subpar care, and those disparities still exist. A new paper in the Journal of General Internal Medicine suggests reforming how we pay for healthcare could help reduce these gaps in care.

The paper was authored by Marshall Chin, MD, the Richard Parrillo Family Professor of Healthcare Ethics at the University of Chicago.

According to Dr. Chin, governmental and private payers can help make health more equitable by:

1. Requiring providers to stratify clinical performance data by race, ethnicity and socioeconomic status. By stratifying data, payers can base payments on reductions in disparities and providers can get a clearer idea of opportunities for improvement.

2. Creating incentives for preventive care and primary care. Payers can implement more aggressive shared savings plans and pay more for primary care and preventive care, to encourage partnerships between clinical and nonclinical sectors.

3. Incorporating equity accountability measures into payment programs. Although quality measures do not reduce disparities, CMS and other payers that use quality measures for reimbursement can explicitly incentivize equitable care and outcomes

4. Standardizing equity accountability measures across public and private payers. Care providers will have a consistent set of expectations for most of their patients if public and private payers convene and decide on the best measures of equitable care.

5. Providing support to safety-net organizations. Dr. Chin wrote, "CMS and other payers should support providers who care for the most disadvantaged populations with both financial and technical assistance."

To access the full paper, click here.



More articles on care disparities:
4 keys to building a more diverse nursing workforce
5 ways to combat health risks associated with residential segregation
NIH program seeks to reduce health disparities in surgical outcomes

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