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Addressing Health Care Disparities

State Strategies


John E. McDonough, Executive Director, Health Care for All, Boston, MA.

In this session, John McDonough and the participants identified and discussed the various policy and programmatic levers that States have at their disposal to help eliminate racial and ethnic heath care disparities. They include, but are not limited to:

  • Collecting and analyzing State-specific data to identify the nature of health care disparities that exist within their own jurisdictions and designing and evaluating effective strategies to address them. Mara Youdelman of the National Health Law Program shared information clarifying that there are no Federal statutes, and few State provisions, that restrict States' ability to collect data on race and ethnicity.
  • Expanding and improving Medicaid and SCHIP coverage.
  • Including requirements to address health care disparities in all State contracts providing health services through Medicaid, SCHIP, and State employee health benefit programs.
  • Providing adequate resources to State offices on minority health.
  • Promoting efforts to increase diversity within the health care workforce.
  • Supporting health care delivery programs targeted to important health conditions affecting racial and ethnic minorities and designed to eliminate disparities in these areas.

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