The Blue Cross Blue Shield Association and Blue Cross and Blue Shield companies released a paper April 27 calling on the healthcare system to develop and adopt national industry standards for demographic data collection to address health inequities.
The paper identifies strategies for creating data collection standards to address the causes behind health disparities, the populations affected and how, and solutions for change. The paper also emphasizes transparency around why patient data is being collected and how it will be used.
The paper specifically outlines how to create and adopt data collection standards for race, ethnicity, language, sexual orientation, gender identity and social determinants of health across corresponding ZIP codes to allow for greater analysis and solutions development.
"Every data point is a person with a story," Sean Robbins, executive vice president of external affairs for BCBSA, said in an April 27 press release. "BCBSA and BCBS companies have an opportunity — and responsibility — to help ensure data accurately and equitably represents every patient we serve. We're eager to work with policymakers and colleagues across the industry to develop and adopt common industry data standards in pursuit of our shared goal to build a more equitable health care system."