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Commentary
January 26, 2011

Meaningful Disparities Reduction Through Research and Translation Programs

Author Affiliations

Author Affiliations: Department of Medicine, Diabetes Research and Training Center, University of Chicago; Robert Wood Johnson Foundation Finding Answers: Disparities Research for Change National Program Office, Chicago, Illinois (Dr Chin); Institute for Healthcare Improvement, Cambridge, Massachusetts, and Children's Hospital Boston and Department of Pediatrics, Harvard Medical School, Boston, Massachusetts (Dr Goldmann).

JAMA. 2011;305(4):404-405. doi:10.1001/jama.2011.26

Health care disparities are unacceptable, but progress toward reducing them has been painfully slow. Each year the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality's (AHRQ’s) National Healthcare Disparities Report documents persistent differences in care by factors such as race, ethnicity, and insurance status.1 Public awareness of these disparities is growing, and the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act and Health Care and Education Reconciliation Act of 2010 will hasten transparency by encouraging collection of race, ethnicity, and language data. However, recognizing the existence of disparities is not sufficient to catalyze meaningful action. Even the most motivated clinicians and health care organizations may not know how to proceed because information on which interventions work in specific contexts or at scale is limited.2

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