Disparities in health outcomes by race and ethnicity and by income status are persistent and difficult to reduce. For more than a decade, infant mortality rates have been 2 to 3 times higher among African American populations, rates of potentially preventable hospitalization have been substantially higher among African American and Latino populations, and the complications of diabetes have disproportionately afflicted African American and Latino populations.1 These and other disparities have persisted despite recognition that inequity costs the economy an estimated $300 billion per year.2 In addition, health disparities threaten the ability of health care organizations to compete fiscally as insurers increasingly base payments on quality and outcomes, such as reducing preventable admissions and readmissions.
Wong WF, LaVeist TA, Sharfstein JM. Achieving Health Equity by Design. JAMA. 2015;313(14):1417–1418. doi:10.1001/jama.2015.2434