Managed Healthcare Executive® State of Industry Survey: Addressing Health Disparities Seen As a Long Haul

MHE Publication, MHE January 2022, Volume 32, Issue 1

Results of our survey show some tempering of expectation for addressing healthcare disparities and what can be accomplished this year.

The COVID-19 pandemic and the police killing of George Floyd brought long-simmering issues of disparities in health and healthcare to a boil in 2020. There have been countless numbers of reports, studies, talks and programs since, and the Biden administration has made addressing healthcare disparities a priority.

But results of our annual State of Industry show that the ascendant aspirations for addressing healthcare disparities may be plateauing.

Almost half (45%) of the 100 respondents to our survey indicated agreement with the statement that addressing healthcare disparities is admirable but will take a long time to demonstrate an effect and 17% indicated agreement with the statement that addressing healthcare disparities is admirable, but chances of success are small. On the other hand, a large minority (43%) indicated that they agree that addressing them is long overdue.

More evidence of the hopes for addressing healthcare disparities are coming down to earth: A slim majority (51%) of the respondents indicated that they don’t foresee their organization taking meaningful steps to address healthcare disparities in 2022. And a sizable minority (42%) indicated they had very low or low expectations for the focus on healthcare disparities resulting in meaningful change in 2022.