Despite extensive research into the problem, disparities in access to healthcare and quality of care persist. The issue is a priority for the Biden administration, which has directed federal agencies including the HHS to advance racial equity initiatives. The CMS announced in its final inpatient rule that it was going to update its measurement and reporting methods to identify potential gaps in care between groups of patients.
The pandemic has widened disparity gaps. In November 2021, the Joint Commission published a report that showed that Black and Hispanic people with COVID-19 infections experienced nearly three times the rate of hospitalization as White patients.
While racial care disparities have been documented in published research, studies have also shown disparities in care for women, older adults, people with disabilities and other historically marginalized groups, according to the report.
“Although health care disparities are often viewed through the lens of social injustice, they are first and foremost a quality of care problem,” the commission said.More>