Value-based Payment Policies Can Help Reduce Health Care Disparities—If We Do It Right

As the health care system moves towards value-based payment, we need performance measures that can assess and monitor disparities in health and health care. The National Quality Forum’s Health Equity Roadmap provides a structure to reconsider longstanding disparities in the context of value-based payment and emerging care models.

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A County Holds Itself Accountable

Fostering a culture of equity across the entire Health and Human Services System is not just a lofty strategic goal for Fairfax County, Virginia. It is also something the Community Health Care Network (CHCN) has been actively working to achieve for many years. In the 1980s, the Fairfax County Board of Supervisors became concerned about the difficulties encountered by the County’s low-income and uninsured residents in obtaining health care, and financed a study of the issue.

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Healthy Mom, Healthy Baby: Keys to a Successful Postpartum Care Delivery Reform Project

Childbirth is the number one reason for hospital admissions in the United States. Postpartum care offers a window of opportunity to impact the current and future health of underserved women. There are significant disparities in the receipt of postpartum care: approximately 60 percent of Medicaid insured women attend their postpartum visit whereas approximately 80 percent of commercially insured women go to their visit.

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Advancing Equity in Value-Based Care

The trend toward value-based care is accelerating, and is more urgent as the climbing costs of care threaten gains in health coverage. As the field is moving toward new ways of paying for value, attention to health care disparities is sorely lacking. Not for lack of need — since the publication of the Institute of Medicine’s Unequal Treatment report, we’ve seen evidence that progress in reducing disparities in care has painfully been slow, or in some cases nonexistent.

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