Sustainable Health Equity Only Possible Through Evidenced-Based Approaches, According to Study

Health equity can only be achieved when leaders and policy makers are passionate about reducing health disparities and adamantly encourage care delivery reforms that incentivize and support health equity efforts.

Health equity can only be achieved when leaders and policy makers are passionate about reducing health disparities and adamantly encourage care delivery reforms that incentivize and support health equity efforts, according to a study in Health Affairs.Current healthcare payment and quality programs, such as the Hospital Value-Based Purchasing Program and the Merit-based Incentive Payment System, do not evaluate equal access to care, which can derail the program’s mission to include minorities in their funding. In addition, these programs are designed to target the general American population, disregarding the barriers of health that specific communities face. Some payment initiatives, like the Massachusetts Medicaid program, attempt to use financial incentives to decrease disparities, however, this failed due to the lack of ethnic diversity in the health system.

The National Quality Forum (NQF) organized a multi-stakeholder group to develop a road map to navigate around barriers of health to create the most accessible healthcare possible. NQF experts included 4 elements necessary to achieve health equity: identify and prioritize areas to reduce health disparities; implement evidence-based interventions to reduce disparities; invest in the development and use of health equity performance measures; and incentivize the reduction of health disparities and achievement of health equity. The article used hypertension as an example condition that causes morbidity and premature mortality affecting a large population of African Americans to display the 4 elements in action.

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