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Can Equitable Care Improve the Bottom Line?

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

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Learning Objectives: At the end of this activity, you will be able to:
  • Identify two poor health outcomes that affect minority patients disproportionally.
  • Explain the business case for addressing disparities.
  • Discuss the concept of “a rising tide lifts all boats” in health care disparities.
Description: The ethical case for health equity is clear, but what about the business case? Health reform in the United States has increased incentives for health systems to reduce costs and improve quality, and health systems won’t be able to reach those aims unless they improve care for populations with the worst health outcomes. In this video, Aswita Tan-McGrory, MBA, MSPH, Deputy Director of the Disparities Solutions Center at Massachusetts General Hospital, explains the relationship between poor health outcomes and minority status.
Discussion Questions:
  1. Why do you think minority populations have higher rates of readmission, longer lengths of stay, and more adverse events?
  2. What does “a rising tide lifts all boats” mean in relationship to health care disparities? Why would improving care for minority populations increase care for everyone?
  3. Do you think improving care for all patients would necessarily improve care for minority patients at the same rate as non-minority patients?
  4. What are the minority populations in your community? What barriers might they face in accessing high-quality health care?
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