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Disparities in Care 2014 Report released

Nationally, disparities in care have become a hot topic as health care systems begin to implement population management strategies. There are many national and state-level reports on disparities that look at health outcomes. However, the focus of the Alliance’s 2014 report on disparities in care is on process measures which reflect how often evidence-based care is being delivered. Looking at outcomes reports together with our analysis reveals that not only are some minority populations disproportionately impacted by certain diseases but that some minorities are also not receiving all of the care they need.

Focus on disparities improves health for everyone

Through the population health lens, disparities in care can be seen as the failure—or success—of effectively managing health care for minority populations. Organizations that work to improve disparities also focus on their biggest breakdowns in the care process and thereby work to improve the care for all of their patients and community members. Improving disparities in care, therefore, is a key to addressing successful care for all populations.

New to the 2014 report

Last year the Alliance released the first report on disparities in care. Because the report provided a data-driven analysis of the issue, it received considerable attention from health care and policy organizations across the state. In this year’s report we are pleased to provide, for the first time, statewide results and qualitative data from survey and stakeholder interviews, providing a more comprehensive look at how Washington is providing care as well as the potential causes of these gaps of care.

New to this report:

  • Statewide results.
  • Qualitative data from surveys and interviews.
  • Recommendations section.
  • Understanding the measures information.

The findings in this report demonstrate that racial and ethnic disparities are still a problem in Washington state. The Alliance hopes that these findings will be a call to action that will lead to effective quality improvement efforts to improve the health of all the people in our state.

More information

Please contact Teresa Litton if you have questions: tlitton@wahealthalliance.org or by phone at 206-454-2953.

Published: July 14, 2014

About Washington Health Alliance

The Washington Health Alliance is a place where stakeholders work collaboratively to transform Washington state’s health care system for the better. The Alliance brings together organizations that share a commitment to drive change in our health care system by offering a forum for critical conversation and aligned efforts by stakeholders: purchasers, providers, health plans, consumers and other health care partners. The Alliance believes strongly in transparency and offers trusted and credible reporting of progress on measures of health care quality and value. The Alliance is a nonpartisan 501(c)(3) nonprofit with more than 185 member organizations. A cornerstone of the Alliance's work is the Community Checkup, a report to the public comparing the performance of medical groups, hospitals and health plans and offering a community-level view on important measures of health care quality (www.wacommunitycheckup.org).

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