Despite the nation’s advancements in health and medicine, care is still not equally available and accessible across communities, populations, and socioeconomic, racial, and ethnic groups. The National Quality Forum (NQF) issued a roadmap for healthcare providers, payers, and others to take action to eliminate healthcare disparities using quality performance measures and related policy levers.
“NQF is deeply committed to
achieving health equity for all Americans,” said Shantanu Agrawal, MD, MPhil,
NQF’s president and CEO. “The health equity roadmap gives the nation a blueprint
to eliminate healthcare disparities. NQF will support stakeholders in
implementing these action steps through a new NQF Health Equity Program (PDF) that will be launched in
The roadmap lays out four
actions: prioritizing measures that can help to identify and monitor
disparities; implementing evidence-based interventions to reduce disparities;
investing in the development and use of measures to assess interventions that
reduce disparities; and providing incentives to reduce disparities.
“NQF’s equity roadmap has roles
for everyone, equipping the healthcare system with needed, system-level
guidance to ensure that all Americans get a fair shot at good health and
high-quality healthcare,” said Marshall Chin, MD, a healthcare ethics professor
at the University of Chicago and co-chair of the NQF Disparities Standing
Noting ways that its action
steps may be applied, the NQF roadmap suggests that:
The roadmap recommends that the
healthcare system support hospitals and physician practices with additional
payment for patients with social risk factors, as well as assistance to develop
the infrastructure to provide high-quality care for people with social risk
NQF developed the roadmap
with funding from the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services and with
input from a committee of nearly two dozen public- and private-sector stakeholders,
including payers, providers, consumers, and patients.
Read the full NQF Disparities
Project report on NQF’s website.
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