Video Transript: Can Equitable Care Lower Costs?

Aswita Tan-McGrory, MBA, MSPH; Deputy Director, Disparities Solutions Center at Massachusetts General Hospital

What we’re seeing in health care is really a movement to improve the quality of care for everyone. But the truth is that for some people, especially minorities, they tend to have worse outcomes. They have higher rates of readmission, longer lengths of stay, and the quality of care just isn’t good. So if we’re talking about improving the care and also reducing our costs then we really have to look at these large populations that are not getting the same care, that are not getting the same outcomes. So it is actually a business case for it.

For example, thinking about patient safety, we think about patients with limited English proficiency. They are more likely to have adverse outcomes, so when we are looking at improving patient care, we really need to think about these patients. If we provide people with an interpreter, if we train people how to use an interpreter, incorporate that in care, we can improve the outcomes in patient safety.

We talk a lot about a rising tide lifts all boats, so improving the care for a specific population eventually improves the care for everyone, but at least the population that is experiencing the disparities, their care is being addressed as well.