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Reducing disparities in health care


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Recent studies have shown that despite the improvements in the overall health of the country, racial and ethnic minorities experience a lower quality of health care—they are less likely to receive routine medical care and face higher rates of morbidity and mortality than nonminorities.

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The American Medical Association (AMA) encourages physicians to examine their own practices to ensure equality in medical care.

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Mar 22
Penelope Dalton (Mar 22 2022 11:02AM) : dont hold them accountable outside of their own practices
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The AMA's mission is to achieve health equity by mitigating disparity factors in the patient population.

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Helping ensure equal access to health care

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Health disparities physician resources

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Health Disparities Toolkit. This kit focuses on the theme of “Working Together to End Racial and Ethnic Disparities: One Physician at a Time.” Access DVD interviews with physicians, nurses and patients, and a CD of information on topics such as cultural competence and literacy. Use the facilitation guide to work with other health care providers and physicians.

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Explore the AMA's Code of Medical Ethics to answer questions on ethical and professional issues for physicians.

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Access the white paper on “Collecting and Using Race, Ethnicity and Language Data in Ambulatory Settings (PDF)” to find recommendations from the Commission to End Health Care Disparities on how to use demographic data to achieve practical goals.

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Mar 22
Penelope Dalton (Mar 22 2022 11:04AM) : reccomendations, no consequences or outside sources
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Research on eliminating health care inequalities

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The Institute of Medicine (IOM) performed an assessment on the differences in the kinds and quality of health care received by U.S. racial and ethnic minorities and nonminorities.

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The IOM report found that:

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  • Disparities in health care exist and are associated with worse health outcomes.
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  • Health care disparities occur in the context of broader inequality.
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  • There are many sources across health systems, providers, patients and managers that contribute to disparities.
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    Mar 22
    Penelope Dalton (Mar 22 2022 11:09AM) : they know that this is an issue yet they still don't ake a national standard to address it.
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  • Bias, stereotyping, prejudice and clinical uncertainty contribute to disparities.
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  • A small number of studies suggest that racial and ethnic minority patients are more likely to refuse treatment.
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Read a summary the IOM findings (PDF) and recommendations, or access the complete IOM report.

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The IOM concluded that a comprehensive, multilevel strategy is needed to eliminate these disparities.

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Access the National Healthcare Quality & Disparities Report for additional information. This annual report is produced by the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality.

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Related articles on health care disparities

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Mar 22
Penelope Dalton (Mar 22 2022 11:10AM) : relted aartciles but dont change anything
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AMA’s work to reduce health care disparities

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AMA’s policy to reduce health care disparities

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AMA has enacted policies that support the research findings from the IOM and support the goals of reducing disparities in health care.

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These policies aim to:

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  • Increase awareness of racial and ethnic disparities in health care among the general public.
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  • Strengthen patient-provider relationships in publicly funded health plans.
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  • Apply the same managed care protections to publicly funded HMO participants that apply to private HMO participants.
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Explore more in AMA’s PolicyFinder.

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History of the commission to end health care disparities

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In 2000, the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services launched Healthy People 2010, which had two broad goals: to improve the overall health status of Americans and to eliminate racial and ethnic health care disparities.

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Health and Human Services officials deemed the AMA was ideally positioned to bring national leadership to initiatives in disease prevention and health promotion while working to eliminate health care inequalities.

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The AMA agreed to raise awareness of health imbalances and the importance of understanding culturally competent health care and health literacy by working with state medical societies, medical schools, medical students and policymakers.

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In 2004, the Commission to End Health Care Disparities was established by the AMA and the National Medical Association to address gaps in health care. The National Hispanic Medical Association joined shortly after.

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In June of 2016, the commission was retired, but the resources and materials produced by the commission are available on this page for physicians.

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Mar 22
Penelope Dalton (Mar 22 2022 11:12AM) : commision was made but retired even though the problem didn't go away
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DMU Timestamp: March 19, 2022 20:05

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