How Health Care Companies Can Advance Racial Equity and Strengthen Economic Performance
April 16, 2019 /3BL Media/ Although many health care companies today claim that health equity is part of their overall mission, the efforts are still nascent and often focus on disparities caused by poverty, education, or disability. Many companies have efforts in diversity and inclusion, however, they are not sufficient to counter the effects of implicit biases in clinical practice or address the adverse social determinants of health that disproportionately affect populations of color.
New research from FSG and PolicyLink, funded by the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, suggests that health care companies must take a new approach to health equity in order to better serve their humanitarian mission and improve their own profitability and competitiveness.
Health care companies that serve markets of color successfully will not just deliver better outcomes for people of color—they will also create a competitive advantage through reduced costs, avoided readmissions, and greater member satisfaction.
Our research identified four health care companies that have taken promising steps in this direction—two integrated health systems (ProMedica and Kaiser Permanente) and two commercial insurance companies (Cigna and UnitedHealth Group).
The report follows a 2017 report, The Competitive Advantage of Racial Equity, highlighting companies that have found new sources of growth and profit by driving equitable outcomes for employees, customers, and communities of color.
FSG is a mission-driven consulting firm supporting leaders in creating large-scale, lasting social change. Through customized consulting services, innovative thought leadership, and support for learning communities, we help foundations, businesses, nonprofits, and governments around the world accelerate progress by reimagining social change. Learn more at www.fsg.org.
PolicyLink is a national research and action institute advancing racial and economic equity by Lifting Up What Works®. PolicyLink is guided by the belief that the solutions to the nation’s challenges lie with those closest to these challenges: when the voice, wisdom, and experience of those traditionally absent from policymaking drive the process, profound policy transformations can emerge. Learn more at www.policylink.org.