213279 Race, Ethnicity and healthcare reform: Achieving equity in our lifetime

Monday, November 9, 2009: 8:30 AM

Dennis P. Andrulis, PhD, MPH , Director, Center for Health Equality Associate Dean of Research, Drexel University School of Public Health, Philadelphia, PA
As the population of the United States continues to grow more racially and ethnically diverse, so too, does the significance of achieving equity in health and health care. Leading health reform bills in the 111th Congress have offered for the first time in almost 50 years, an unprecedented opportunity to achieve greater access to affordable and high quality health care for all and redress longstanding racial and ethnic disparities in health and health care. The Center for Health Equality at the Drexel University School of Public Health received support from the Joint Center for Political and Economic Studies to conduct a comparative analysis of leading House and Senate health reform legislation--as well as tracking the reconciliation process and final bill enactment--in the context of how they will affect racially and ethnically diverse patients and communities across six priority areas—access to health insurance; access to health and medical care; cost containment; quality improvement; infrastructure support for reducing racial/ethnic disparities; and provisions to address social determinants of health. Our review has identified promising provisions that explicitly address health disparities—such as expanded support for community health centers, development of standards for collection and reporting of health care data by race/ethnicity, and support for cultural competence training for health professionals—in addition to broad-based market reforms. This session will present and discuss these and other specific actions contained within legislation, highlighting strengths, remaining challenges and uncertainties critical to eliminating health inequities.

Learning Objectives:
Describe in general terms the significance of health care reform for reducing racial and ethnic disparities. Discuss the opportunities and implications contained within national health reform legislation for racially and ethnically diverse patients and communities across six priority areas—access to health insurance, access to care, cost, quality, infrastructure support and social determinants of health. Assess the potential for health care reform to advance health equity goals.

Presenting author's disclosure statement:

Qualified on the content I am responsible for because: I have presented at many past APHA conference as well as at meeting/ conferences for DHHS, CMS, National Emergency Management Summit, Public Health Preparedness Summit and the NIH.
Any relevant financial relationships? No

I agree to comply with the American Public Health Association Conflict of Interest and Commercial Support Guidelines, and to disclose to the participants any off-label or experimental uses of a commercial product or service discussed in my presentation.