MHA's Friday Update Messages

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Using Data to Drive Down Disparities

February 02, 2018 By: Your MHA Team

Last month, MHA shared with hospital CEOs and other hospital leaders tasked with reducing health disparities the most recent data on how each hospital fared over the past year. The measures, stratified by race, gender, age, ethnicity and language are: inpatient admissions, readmissions, mortality, and infections.

Every hospital in Maryland pledged to participate in the national Equity of Care campaign, and these data were compiled specifically to help you meet the campaign’s four goals:

  • Choose a quality measure to stratify by race, ethnicity and language preference
  • Determine whether a health care disparity exists, and if so, implement a plan to address the gap
  • Provide cultural competency training for all staff or finalize a plan to ensure staff receives cultural competency training
  • Have a dialogue with the hospital board and leadership team on how the organization reflects the community it serves, and what actions can be taken to address any gaps if the board and leadership do not reflect the community

On February 22, the Maryland Healthcare Education Institute, in partnership with MHA, will host a meeting to discuss how reducing health disparities will play an important role in the next phase of Maryland’s All-Payer Model. In that phase hospitals will be held accountable for generating greater cost savings across all health care settings. This significantly overlaps with the population health work you’ve been doing and the goals of the Equity of Care campaign.

More important than the metrics is the commitment Maryland’s hospitals have made to improve the lives of their patients and communities. Inherent in that commitment is a promise to help those people who are more burdened by illness and disease than others, a promise that drives the Equity of Care campaign.

If you’d like more information about health disparities data, the Feb. 22 meeting, or if your organization has not yet designated an Equity of Care lead, email David Simon at dsimon@mhaonline.org.