Despite widespread improvements in healthcare quality, disparities in health and healthcare continue to persist. Disparities in health and healthcare have been linked to inadequate resources, poor patient-provider communication, a lack of culturally competent care, and inadequate linguistic access, among other factors. In order to promote equal treatment of all patients who enter the healthcare system and reduce health and healthcare disparities, the healthcare system must be deliberate about addressing these factors and mitigating their impact. The AHRQ 2015 National Healthcare Quality and Disparities Report showed that people in low-income households received worse care than people in high-income households for about 60 percent of quality measures. In addition, African Americans, Hispanics, Native Americans, and Alaska Natives received worse care than whites for about 40 percent of quality measures. Performance measures are critical to assessing the healthcare system’s progress towards ensuring quality is improving for all.
About this Project
To build on NQF’s prior efforts focused on disparities, NQF is undertaking new work to explore disparities in cardiovascular disease, cancer, diabetes and chronic kidney disease, mental illness, infant mortality, and low birth weight. Disparities in health and healthcare occur when individuals experience differing levels of healthcare and health outcomes based on social risk factors. NQF will explore the social risk factors (e.g., socioeconomic position, disability, and social relationships) that contribute to these disparities and conduct an environmental scan to identify performance measures that can be used to assess the effectiveness of interventions to reduce disparities. These efforts will support the work of a multistakeholder committee that will provide guidance on how performance measurement can be used to reduce health and healthcare disparities.
The project will involve:
- A review of the evidence describing disparities in health and health care outcomes in the target conditions;
- A review of the causes and factors associated with disparities in the target conditions, evidence of effective interventions, and gaps in existing work;
- An environmental scan of performance measures currently in use of under development to assess effective interventions;
- The identification of gaps in measurement and the extent to which stakeholders are employing effective interventions;
- The development of a conceptual framework to guide performance measures;
- Recommendations for measure development to assess efforts to reduce disparities in health and health care in the target conditions.
This project involves the active participation of representatives from across the spectrum of healthcare stakeholders. The Disparities Standing Committee will be comprised of 20-25 individuals, selected through NQF’s Nominations process, and would be subject to the same disclosure/conflict policy that is applied to other Standing Committees. All meetings will be open to the public.
Related NQF Work
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