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6 ways to make the case for social equity at hospitals

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How do healthcare institutions  build a business case for social equity for their patient population? In a piece published in Hospitals & Health Networks, Kedar Mate, M.D., chief innovation and education officer for the Institute for Healthcare Improvement, outlined  six ways.

  1. Collect and report clinical data stratified by race, ethnicity, language and socioeconomic status.
  2. Incentivize preventive and primary care: “The bulk of disparities we see can actually be addressed if we have greater investment in primary care and preventative care. We must implement more aggressive risk-sharing agreements and shared-savings plans that encourage greater investment in preventative and primary care.”
  3. Develop equity-accountability measures across payers: “This is the idea that we need to create or add race, ethnicity and language dimensions to existing outcome measures. It’s not about increasing the overall measurement burden. The idea is not to add new measures; it’s about stratifying those measures by race, ethnicity, language and socioeconomic status.”
  4. Use them to incentivize the reduction of health disparities: “We could be incenting systems to achieve threshold levels of performance for reduction in disparities or to reward improvement. They could be built into ACOs and other shared savings systems.”
  5. Assist the safety net: “We have to provide adequate Medicaid reimbursement to our safety nets. That’s where a lot of our patients are going to be seen. We have to risk-adjust clinical performance scores for socio-demographic information. We have to be careful about decreasing federal subsidies before those health insurance plans have an opportunity to enroll patients in their care.”
  6. Launch demonstration projects to test payment and delivery system reforms: ”The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Innovation can do this, but there are others who can do this as well.”To read the whole piece, please hit this link.

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