AHA/HRET Guides

Rising Above the Noise: Making the Case for Equity in Care

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This HPOE presentation highlights the business imperative for equity of care.  As the health care system moves toward a value-based versus volume-based reimbursement system, eliminating health care disparities will be vital.

  • As payment becomes more dependent on outcomes, it is not financially viable to ignore persistent poor health outcomes in certain patient populations.
  • Associated with health care disparities are increased costs of care due to excessive testing, medical errors, increased length of stay and avoidable readmissions.
  • Pay-for-performance contracts are beginning to include provisions to address racial and ethnic disparities.
  • Between 2003 and 2006, 30.6 percent of direct medical expenditures for African Americans, Asians and Hispanics were excess costs due to health care disparities (Joint Center for Political and Economic Studies, 2009).
  • Eliminating health care inequities associated with illness and premature death would reduce indirect costs by $1 trillion.Researchers estimate that eliminating disparities would reduce direct medical expenditures by as much as $229 billion; clearly, business models should incorporate planning for the elimination of health care disparities.
  • Eliminating care disparities gives hospitals and care systems a competitive marketing edge.

Use this presentation in conversations with hospital staff, community meetings or as part of board discussions. Achieving equity in care is imperative to improving the health of the population and the success of the hospital and health care systems. View the Equity of Care slide presentation.

Equity of Care was formed in 2011 as a call to action to eliminate health care disparities. The American College of Healthcare Executives, American Hospital Association, Association of American Medical Colleges, Catholic Health Association of the United States and America’s Essential Hospitals are national partners working together to improve quality of care for every patient by disseminating best practices and resources for equitable care. This page highlights the business imperative for improving equity in care and provides a list of resources.

Please review HPOE's other resources on equity of care. For a PowerPoint version of the slide deck please contact hpoe@aha.org

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