Building knowledge and skills through foundational strategies.

Our strategy overviews are foundational papers that offer foundational strategies on how to implement change and begin reducing disparities. They are founded on theory and best practices, while also offering practical tips and recommendations to assist you as you begin building a culture of equity at your health care organization. Please find below the strategy overviews and webinars that are useful to anyone thinking about implementing change.


Leveraging Value-Based Payment Approaches to Promote Health Equity: Key Strategies for Health Care Payers

Given Medicaid’s role in delivering care to individuals with low-income, including many from Black and Hispanic communities, the program is uniquely situated to address health-related disparities. Value-based payment (VBP), which many payers are already using to improve health outcomes and support more efficient care, can be an effective tool in designing equity-focused payment and contracting models. The development of equity-focused VBP approaches to support care delivery transformation is an important lever that can help payers advance health equity and eliminate disparities in health care.

This report, authored by the Center for Health Care Strategies (CHCS) and the Institute for Medicaid Innovation (IMI), identifies six connected strategies to guide payers, including Medicaid agencies and managed care organizations, in developing equity-focused VBP approaches to mitigate health disparities at the state and local level. These strategies include: (1) articulating an equity goal; (2) assessing the payment and care delivery environment; (3) selecting performance measures; (4) setting performance targets; (5) designing the payment approach; and (6) addressing operational challenges. 


Integrating Community Health Workers into Health Care Teams to Improve Equity and Quality of Care

Community health workers can improve care and outcomes for minority patients. This strategy overview provides implementation recommendations for organizations considering the integration of community health workers into their health care teams. It is based upne several model community health worker programs and provides examples of their challenges and successes.

"Language access leads to a large number of disparities. When communication breaks down between a patient and a doctor, the number one disparity is quality of care, among numerous others. Patients are not getting the highest quality of care when they don't understand half of what their doctor is saying to them. Quality is impacted but then clinical care is also impacted."   - Maria Moreno, Sutter Health

Responding to Culture: Beyond Cultural Competence Training


Cultural competence training, the most common approach used to address disparities, is insufficient by itself to improve patient outcomes. This strategy overview provides a systematic approach that health care organizations can use to become more knowledgeable and responsive to their patients’ cultures. It utilizes anecdotes and examples drawn from Finding Answers partner organizations, systematic reviews, and technical assistance programming to illustrate key recommendations.


Using Data:


Using Data to Reduce Disparities and Improve Quality

Unless specifically measured, disparities in health care can go unnoticed even as health care organizations seek to improve care.  This strategy overview explores how stratifying quality data by patient race, ethnicity, language or other key demographics allows health care organizations to discover and prioritize differences in care, outcomes, and/or experience across patient groups, plan equity-focused quality improvement efforts, measure their impact, and tell the organization’s story.

Considerations for Collecting, Sharing, & Analyzing Data

It is important to anticipate data challenges that may be encountered when designing and implementing integrated healthcare delivery transformation and payment reform initiatives on multi-stakeholder teams. This resource was developed as part of the Advancing Health Equiyt: Leading Care, Payment, and Systems Transformation program. 


Supporting Equity in the Medical Home (webinars)

In February 2012, Finding Answers teamed up with the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services and the TMF Health Quality Institute to provide a series of four webinars on reducing healthcare disparities through the Comprehensive Primary Care Initiative (CPCI). These webinars offer practical tips and examples structured around the CPCI milestones of shared decision-making, patient experience, and care management. 

Planning for Sustainability

Planning for sustainability ensures that your organiztion’s disparities reduction efforts will survive and prosper over time. This strategy overview presents recommendations to help your organization plan for sustainability as you implement The Roadmap to Reduce Disparities.  It includes recommendations tailored to building a culture of equity, conducting a root cause analysis, designing an intervention and securing buy-in.

Using Communication Technology to Enhance Patient Engagement 

Communication technology plays a significant role in improving the quality of health care. This strategy overview explores how communication technology can be leveraged to reduce disparities in patient care and health outcomes. The recommendations within it come from Finding Answers partner’s that utilized communication technology, including multimedia presentations and telecommunication to reduce or eliminate disparities in their patient populations. Coming soon!