Health Care Disparities

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Research on eliminating health care inequalities
The Institute of Medicine (IOM) performed an assessment on the differences in the kinds and quality of health care received by U.S. racial and ethnic minorities and nonminorities.

The IOM report found that:

  • Disparities in health care exist and are associated with worse health outcomes.
  • Health care disparities occur in the context of broader inequality.
  • There are many sources across health systems, providers, patients and managers that contribute to disparities.
  • Bias, stereotyping, prejudice and clinical uncertainty contribute to disparities.
  • A small number of studies suggest that racial and ethnic minority patients are more likely to refuse treatment. Read a summary the IOM findings (PDF) and recommendations, or access the complete IOM report. Source: Reducing disparities in Health Care

Related articles on health care disparities:


Addressing Health Care Disparities: Recommended Goal, Guiding Principles and Key Strategies for Comprehensive Policies (PDF)

Find information on the goals of the Commission to Reduce Health Care Disparities, the principles that guide all policy work in this area and a full list of commission members.

Development of a Measure of Physician Engagement in Addressing Racial and Ethnic Health Care Disparities (PDF)

Review the research results that examine the engagement levels of a sample of physicians in addressing gaps in health care and understand how these results can be used to increase physician engagement at a group or institution level.

Unequal Treatment: Confronting Racial and Ethnic Disparities in Health Care

Understand the background of how racial and ethnic disparities exist in health care.

Immigration Reform as a Means to Eliminate Health Care Disparities (PDF)

Review the opinions from one commission member, the National Council of Asian Pacific Islander Physicians, in regards to immigration reform.

Reducing Health Disparities: Where Are We Now? (PDF)

Discover how the field of health care disparities has evolved in recent years by examining emerging perspectives, reviewing progress and current activity and looking at outstanding needs.

Access to Care for Patients with Disabilities: Strategies for Ensuring a Safe, Accessible and ADA Compliant Practice (PDF)

Review the important considerations in ensuring a health care facility not only meets required standards, but provides a safe, accessible and comfortable environment for patients with disabilities.


Related content:

Dermatology a bellwether of health inequities during COVID-19

AMA: Racism is a threat to public health

States tracking COVID-19 race and ethicity data

Updated 4/22/2021 HAB