According to the latest news, the report called The Commonwealth Fund’s State Scorecard on Health System Performance evaluates healthcare equity across race and ethnicity both within and across states.

Reaffirmation Of The Ethnic And Racial Differences In Healthcare Offered

This study conducted annually by the Commonwealth fund aggregates 24 indicators of healthcare coverage, spendings, outcomes, and quality of healthcare across all states to come up with statewide healthcare performance.

Reaffirmation Of The Ethnic And Racial Difference

The goal of this report is to come up with findings that policymakers can use to formulate policies for the betterment of healthcare facilities in the country.

This years’ report released on Thursday once again reveals that healthcare systems in all states are failing people of color. In nearly every state, it is found that lack of timely and quality healthcare has caused more deaths of a Black American compared to a White One.

According to the health performance scores in the report, the states of DC, Massachusetts, Maryland fared highest while the states of Mississippi, South Dakota, and North Dakota fared the worst. Even in states where overall the performance of healthcare systems is above the national average, the study showed that racial and ethnic disparity is startling.

For Instance– in Minnesota, where the overall healthcare performance is rather good, the difference is stark. In the state, while White Americans receive excellent and timely healthcare facilities, the American Indian/Alaska Native (AIAN) population is some of the most neglected.

The study also revealed some regional patterns. It highlighted that the mortality rates are high for black as well as white residents in many south-eastern states of the US. Moreover, the mortality rate in  AIAN people tends to be higher in the upper Midwest and northern Plains states.

Specific studies of diseases like Diabetes revealed that Black and AIAN individuals are more likely to die of diabetes-related complications compared to individuals of other ethnicities. South Dakota fared the worst in terms of Diabetes, especially for the AIAN individuals. 

In terms of breast cancer as well, a similar trend is observed. We can infer that low access to diagnostics and healthcare facilities for Black women leads to a delay in detecting breast cancer and ultimately more deaths.

One of the key contributors to the lack of access to healthcare amongst Black Americans is the lack of uniform comprehensive insurance coverage. The rates of uninsured in the Black, Latinx/Hispanic, and AIAN people are considerably higher than that in the white people. Financial constraints also make it less likely for the Black population to get their annual flu shots when compared to the White population.

The study can form an excellent basis for states to learn from each other to replicate best practices followed by states ranking higher according to Dr. Sara Bode, medical director of school health for Nationwide Children’s Hospital.

The study also provides suggestions on the transformative changes required on the policy front for ensuring universal, affordable, and equitable health coverage, strengthening primary care and delivery and investing in social services.