Sign Up for Email Alerts Visit us on Twitter Visit us on Facebook Visit us on YouTube Subscribe to RSS Feeds

Home > Past Briefings > Briefing Detail Page

Briefing Detail Page

Change Text Size:   Smaller Text Size   Larger Text Size   Default Text Size    

Racial and Ethnic Disparities: States and Feds to the Rescue?

Monday, May 12, 2008

With a substantial body of evidence showing that racial and ethnic minorities receive poorer quality care than others, state and federal policy makers are looking for ways to reduce disparities. Some states have begun to experiment with strategies for reducing health disparities.

What can state and federal policy makers do to help reduce racial and ethnic disparities? Do coverage expansions alone solve the problem or do other policies also need to be pursued? What innovations are states experimenting with? What lessons if any can federal policy makers learn from state experience?

To address these and related questions, the Alliance for Health Reform and The Commonwealth Fund sponsored a May 12 briefing. The Commonwealth Fund has released a comprehensive chartbook on racial and ethnic disparities by Dr. Bruce Siegel of George Washington University and others. Researcher Brian Smedley has laid out, in a March - April 2008 Health Affairs article, ways in which disparities can be addressed through state-level health reform. These two publications provide a jumping-off point for the discussion at this briefing.

Joining the two authors above were two congressional staff reactors, Becky Shipp, Senate Finance Committee minority staff, and Caya Lewis, a member of the majority staff of the Senate HELP Committee. Ed Howard of the Alliance and Anne Beal of The Commonwealth Fund co-moderated.


 Ed Howard, Alliance for Health Reform, Moderator
 Anne Beal, The Commonwealth Fund, Moderator
 Bruce Siegel, George Washington University, Speaker
 Brian Smedley, The Opportunity Agenda, Speaker
 Becky Shipp, Senate Finance Committee, Speaker
 Caya Lewis, Senate HELP Committee, Speaker
(Click on the camera icon to see a video of the speaker's presentation.)

Transcript, Event Summary and/or Webcast and Podcast

Transcript: Racial and Ethnic Disparities: States and Feds to the Rescue? (Adobe Acrobat PDF), 5/12/2008
Full Webcast/Podcast: Racial and Ethnic Disparities: States and Feds to the Rescue?

The transcript, full webcast and podcast for this briefing, as well as videos of individual speakers' presentations, are provided by Kaiser Family Foundation.

Speaker Presentations

Anne Beal Presentation (PowerPoint), 5/12/2008
Bruce Siegel Presentation (PowerPoint), 5/12/2008
Brian Smedley Presentation (PowerPoint), 5/12/2008

(If you want to download one or more slides from these presentations, contact us at info@allhealth or click here for instructions.)

Source Materials

Disparities in Health Care Are Driven by Where Minority Patients Seek Care (Adobe Acrobat PDF), Archives of Internal Medicine, 6/25/2007
Inequitable Funding May Cause Health Care Disparities (Adobe Acrobat PDF), Archives of Internal Medicine, 6/25/2007
Expert List (Adobe Acrobat PDF), Alliance for Health Reform, 5/7/2008
Speaker Biographies (Adobe Acrobat PDF), Alliance for Health Reform, 5/7/2008
Racial and Ethnic Disparities: States and Feds to the Rescue? (Word Document), Word Document, 5/12/2008

Offsite Materials (briefing documents saved on other websites)

Racial and Ethnic Disparities in U.S. Health Care: A Chartbook, The Commonwealth Fund, 3/13/2008
Identifying and Evaluating Equity Provisions in State Health Care Reform, The Commonwealth Fund, 4/23/2008
A State Policy Agenda to Eliminate Racial and Ethnic Health Disparities, The Commonwealth Fund, 6/28/2004
Enhancing Public Hospitals’ Reporting of Data on Racial and Ethnic Disparities in Care, The Commonwealth Fund, 1/30/2007
2007 National Healthcare Disparities Report, Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality, 2/1/2008
2007 National Healthcare Quality Report, Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality, 2/1/2008
Reducing Racial and Ethnic Disparities: A Quality Improvement Initiative in Medicaid Managed..., Center for Health Care Strategies, Inc., 1/1/2007
National Health Plan Collaborative Enters Phase Two of its Work to Improve the Quality of He... (Adobe Acrobat PDF),National Health Plan Collaborative, 8/22/2007
From Policy to Action: Addressing Racial and Ethnic Disparities at the Ground Level, Center for Health Care Strategies, 8/1/2007
Journal of Health Politics, Policy and Law Special Issue: Comparative Perspectives on Health..., The Commonwealth Fund, 2/26/2006
Using Data on Race and Ethnicity to Improve Health Care Quality for Medicaid Beneficiaries, Center for Health Care Strategies, 6/1/2006


Caya Lewis of the U.S. Senate HELP Committee, speaker at the May 12 briefing cospsonsored by The Commonwealth Fund.

Becky Shipp of the U.S. Senate Finance Committee, speaker at the May 12 briefing cosponsored by The Commonwealth Fund

Anne Beal of The Commonwealth Fund explains that racial and ethnic health disparities have non-medical, as well as medically-related, causes. From the May 12 briefing cosponsored by the Fund.

Brian Smedley of The Opportunity Agenda reviews efforts at the state level toward reducing racial and ethnic health disparities. From the May 12 briefing cosponsored by The Commonwealth Fund.

Bruce Siegel of The George Washington University reviews some of the key trends in "Racial and Ethnic Disparities in U.S. Health Care: A Chartbook." (11 min.) From the May 12 briefing cosponsored by The Commonwealth Fund.


Briefing for Reporters on State Health Initiatives

A governor met with reporters Friday, February 19 to discuss the latest health care innovations and changes they are pursuing or implementing. Gov. Asa Hutchinson, R-Ark., discussed his experience with the state's program to move newly eligible Medicaid beneficiaries to qualified health plans, and his intentions for changes moving forward.

Read More

Health Care Consolidation: What You Need to Know

A recent whirlwind of mergers and acquisitions has thrown health care industry consolidation into the spotlight. In 2014 alone, there were 1,299 mergers and acquisitions in the health care sector at a value of $387 billion, a new record. In this roundtable for reporters, featuring a top FTC official and two experts, panelists discussed the drivers behind this recent trend; the scope and extent of consolidation among doctors, hospitals and insurers; implications for consumers and other stakeholders; and the roles of the Department of Justice (DOJ) and the Federal Trade Commission (FTC).

Click here for video
Click here for transcript

Read More 

New Toolkit on Health Care Consolidation

There were 1,299 mergers and acquisitions in the health care sector in 2014 at a value of $387 billion, both record highs. A new Alliance for Health Reform toolkit, “Health Care Consolidation,” looks at the drivers behind this trend, as well as implications for key players in the health care system and regulatory issues surrounding the issue.  Critics argue that consolidation could have a harmful impact on consumers, including higher costs, while others say some amount of activity is necessary to reshape the health care industry following changes implemented by the Affordable Care Act.

Read More 

What Tools do Patients Need? Video

What is the key to creating a more consumer-friendly and patient-centered health care system? Leading experts address challenges and potential solutions in a new Alliance video featuring Benjamin Moulton of the Informed Medical Decisions Foundation, Robin Gelburd of FAIR Health, and Tim Skeen Anthem.

Click here for video.

Read More 

Video from Reporter Roundtable on Open Enrollment III

On October 5, speakers at a reporter roundtable held at the National Press Club on open enrollment III provided the latest information about premium trends and drivers, health plan availability and new comparison tools for consumers to use in choosing health plans. They discussed trends in the role of navigators and brokers, and increasing consumer expectations, particularly around the ease of the process.

Click here for video.

Read More 

Toolkit on Connection Between Health and Housing

A new Alliance toolkit, “The Connection between Health and Housing: The Evidence and Policy Landscape,” provides a detailed look into federal, state and local initiatives, as well as cost implications for health and housing programs.

Attempts to tie health and housing policy are gaining momentum, amid evidence that housing, a social determinant of health, is an important factor in the health status of various populations. More than 610,000 people experience homelessness in the U.S., and over 250,000 individuals within that population have a severe mental illness or a chronic substance use disorder, according to the Department of Housing and Urban Development.

Read More 

Toolkit on Biosimilars

The Alliance for Health Reform has released a new toolkit, “Biosimilars: Unpacking Complex Issues.”

The Affordable Care Act created an expedited licensure pathway for biosimilars, and, in March 2015, the U.S. approved the first biosimilar, leaving policy makers, regulators, providers and stakeholders to grapple with regulatory and financial questions.

Biosimilars are similar – but not identical – to biologic drugs, and cost less. Unlike traditional pharmaceuticals, biologic drugs are derived from living organisms and tissues, making them more complex and expensive to produce.

Read More 

Experts Discuss Workplace Wellness Programs

In a new interview video, Karen Pollitz, senior fellow, private insurance and health reforms, The Kaiser Family Foundation and Dan Newton, vice president, product/solutions development and behavior economics, Anthem Care Management discuss the impact of workplace wellness programs. They address questions about regulations and program design and analyze the scope of wellness programs.

Read More 

Toolkit on Long-Term Services and Supports (LTSS)

The aging of the baby boomers and the increase in the number of old-old persons (those 85 and older) are predictors for the increasing need for long-term services and supports (LTSS). Among persons age 65 and over, an estimated 70 percent will use LTSS. A new Alliance for Health Reform toolkit, “Long-Term Services and Supports: Changes and Challenges in Financing and Delivery,” provides a background on LTSS and discusses policy issues surrounding the topic.

Read More 

Copyright 1997-2016 Alliance for Health Reform
1444 Eye Street, NW, Suite 910 Washington, DC 20005-6573      202-789-2300      202-789-2233 fax      Sitemap