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Survey: Health Equity is a Priority but…

Survey: Health Equity is a Priority but…

On July 28, Washington-based Vantage Health Technologies a part of the BroadReach Group, a global social enterprise, announced the results of its first annual “State of U.S. Health Equity Survey.”

A press release on the survey states that “In June and July of 2022, Vantage Health Technologies surveyed nearly 200 (192) executives and senior decision-makers within payers, providers and other healthcare stakeholders to understand how organizations address health inequities within their plans. The results found that while 95 percent of respondents believe that health equity is important for their organization to address, nearly half (43.5 percent) of the respondents said their organization has no roadmap to address health equity across their people, process and technology. Additionally, 45.3 percent have only a partial or ad hoc roadmap plan. Of them, 53 percent are unsure if it will be a priority in the next 12-18 months. Surprisingly, only 8 percent said that it would be a priority.”

Key highlights from the survey include:

  • 48.3 percent of survey respondents say they don’t know if they have race, ethnicity, or language data on their care population
  • 4.2 percent of respondents say they have this data on 75 to 100 percent of their population
  • 44.3 percent of respondents say they only provide care in English
    • 55.7 percent of respondents say they provide culturally and linguistically appropriate, person-centered care in some instances but not all and that there is some room to improve
  • 55.2 percent of respondents said their organizations did not have racial or linguistic data on their employees
  • The survey asked respondents to self-report top barriers to implementing health equity iniatives, the responses include:

    • budget
    • lack of or outdated systems
    • data challenges
    • leadership, guidelines, and governance
    • resource limitations (including human resources)
    • timing and prioritization
    • training and knowledge

    Chris Esguerra, M.D., chief medical officer for Health Plan of San Mateo and one of Vantage’s medical advisors in the survey, was quoted in the release saying that “For true improvement in health equity, unless your population is totally homogeneous, you’re actually going to have to address things in a much more targeted way. Everyone focuses on data—or lack of data—as a gap and gets stuck there. Data is the thing that will help you understand that there is a problem, but do you know how to understand the problem?”

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