The Affordable Care Act and health disparitiesPosted: July 17, 2012
In an op-ed in Monday’s Hartford Courant, Patricia Baker of the Connecticut Health Foundation in Hartford argues that the Affordable Care Act provides the opportunity to “level the health care playing field in Connecticut.” Among the statistics she uses in the article:
” • Hispanic and African American residents are roughly 5.4 times more likely to lack health insurance compared to white residents.
• Hispanic individuals are 2.5 times more likely to have diabetes than white residents in Connecticut and are 3.8 times more likely to be hospitalized for related complications that require an amputation of an arm, leg or foot.
• Hispanic and African American residents are roughly 5.4 times more likely to lack health insurance compared to white residents.”
Baker says there are specific provisions in the law that will address some of those disparities. She mentions a requirement that will mandate the collection and use of racial, ethnic and language data.
“Collecting this data will help us understand population-based health needs for which we can develop targeted solutions to eliminate health disparities. To take this a step further, the act also calls for a commitment to measure, intervene wisely, make improvements and re-measure over time, thus allowing us to hone our practices for better results.”
And she says with improved information technology and programs to expand access to primary care, the state can move toward greater health equity. You can read her full op-ed here.