A Roadmap for Promoting Health Equity and Eliminating Disparities

A multistakeholder Disparities Standing Committee organized by the National Quality Forum (NQF), with funding from the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, recently issued what it calls a roadmap to reducing disparities in health and health care.

The report provides recommendations on how performance measurement and its associated policy levers can be used to reduce disparities and identifies areas where collaboration can be used to expand the health care system’s role in this effort. Specifically, it lays out four actions (“Four I’s”): 1) identify and prioritize reducing health disparities; 2) implement evidence-based interventions to reduce disparities; 3) invest in the development and use of health equity performance measures; and 4) incentivize the reduction of health disparities and achievement of health equity.

The report also details 10 recommendations to guide implementation of the roadmap. Importantly, the report authors note that stakeholders across the U.S. health care system must be motivated to act on the results of health equity measures if they hope to drive improved performance and ensure that providers have resources necessary to preform care. Additionally, the authors detail five domains of equity measurement, noting that achieving an equitable health care system will require progress across all domains of measurement. The use of measurement for reporting and accountability can be powerful in promoting health equity, they state.

“Reducing disparities and achieving meaningful progress towards health equity will require efforts from all stakeholders,” the authors write. “NQF is committed to collaborating with stakeholders within health care and beyond to achieve health equity.”


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