What are health disparities?
The National Partnership for Action (NPA) has developed the following definition of health disparities:
A health disparity is a particular type of health difference that is closely linked with social or economic disadvantage.1
Health disparities negatively affect groups of people who have systematically experienced greater social and/or economic obstacles to health and/or a clean environment.
Such disparities are not new to health care, but COVID-19 exacerbates existing disparities in many sub-populations.
Health disparities can impact the following:
- Racial or ethnic groups
- Socioeconomic status
- Mental health
- Cognitive, sensory, or physical disability
- Sexual orientation or gender identity
- Geographic location
- Characteristics historically linked to discrimination or exclusion
COVID-19 Health Disparities
Learn more about health disparities related to COVID-19.
How to Address Health Disparities
Cigna strongly supports the American Hospital Association’s #123forEquity Pledge to Act Campaign that urges hospital and health system leaders to develop and implement strategies to:
Increase the collection, stratification, and use of race, ethnicity, language preference, and other sociodemographic data to improve quality and safety
Increase cultural competency training to ensure culturally responsive care
Advance diversity in leadership and governance to reflect the communities served
Improve and strengthen community partnerships
Ready to make an action plan for your practice that addresses health disparities? Visit these resources to get started:
1 National Partnership for Action (NPA), http://minorityhealth.hhs.gov/npa/