Health Equity

About Health Equity

Disparate health outcomes for minorities, individuals experiencing homelessness, and other subsets of California’s population are the result of historic and systemic inequalities that persist today, and it has risen to the level of a public health crisis in California. Unequal access to health care and health resources, as well as unequal and damaging environmental conditions due to race, socioeconomic status, and other factors is untenable in a just and healthy society. Ensuring every Californian receives equitable, high-quality care requires long-term, systemic solutions. Some facts:

  • Black Californians have the highest rates of new prostate, colorectal, and lung cancer cases, and the highest death rates for breast, colorectal, lung, and prostate cancer.
  • About one in five Latinx Californians report not having a usual source of care and difficulty finding a specialist.
  • Californians who are Native American and Alaska Native, as well as Native Hawaiian and Pacific Islander, are less likely to report having a checkup within the past year than other racial/ethnic groups.

*Source: California Health Care Foundation

California’s hospitals are on the front lines of mitigating health inequities. Within their communities, hospitals examine and address the social determinants of health — things like housing instability, access to healthy foods, and community violence — that significantly affect health risks and outcomes. And they continually work to improve the experience and outcomes for everyone in their care through a variety of initiatives, including a statewide maternal health quality collaborative; data collection and analysis on race, ethnicity, language preference, and other sociodemographic data; cultural competency training; increasing diversity in leadership and governance; and improving and strengthening community partnerships. But hospitals alone cannot eliminate health disparities. It will take systemic reform, paired with broad partnerships across all segments of California’s communities, to break from the status quo.

Helping All Californians Reach the Highest Standards of Health

A comprehensive, multi-level strategy is needed to eliminate (health) disparities. Broad sectors – including healthcare providers, their patients, payors, health plan purchasers, and society at large – should be made aware of the healthcare gap between racial and ethnic groups in the United States. — Unequal Treatment: Confronting Racial and Ethnic disparities in Health Care. 

CMS IPPS Update Far Too Small Given Current Challenges

As hospitals throughout the nation struggle to find their financial footing through this latest phase of the COVID-19 pandemic, the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services’ proposed Medicare Inpatient Prospective Payment System (IPPS) update for the coming fiscal year falls woefully short of what is needed to preserve access to care and rebuild a tattered […]

Kaiser Permanente’s Thrive Local: Connecting Patients to Critical Community Resources — Participant Information

When patients leave the hospital, there’s usually some healing ahead. More often than not, special services or assistance are needed to help recovery — crucial resources that may be lacking for vulnerable populations.   Kaiser Permanente’s Thrive Local was developed to address these needs. Thrive Local features a community referral network that integrates health systems, […]