Analyzing The Health Disparity Term Paper

Length: 6 pages Sources: 4 Subject: Health - Nursing Type: Term Paper Paper: #59787374 Related Topics: Health Screening, Health And Wellness, Vulnerable Population, Health Issues
Excerpt from Term Paper :

Health Disparity

Health disparities refer to a certain kind of health-related difference closely tied to economic or social disadvantage. They negatively impact groups of individuals systematically subject to greater economic and social barriers to a hygienic environment and health, on the basis of their ethnic or racial group, age, gender, religion, mental health, socioeconomic standing, geographic location, gender identity or sexual orientation, physical, cognitive, or sensory disability, or any other characteristics that are associated historically with marginalization or discrimination (Department of Health & Human Services, 2011b).

Of all industrialized countries, the U.S. expends maximum resources on the area of healthcare; despite this, millions of U.S. citizens do not enjoy a chance to live a healthful life. Overall population health in the U.S. has witnessed improvements over time, but health disparities for underserved, racial minority and ethnic minority communities continue. Vulnerable population clusters such as ethnic and racial minorities, disabled individuals, and rural residents more frequently face obstacles to accessing health care. Consequently, these individuals will more likely contract disease and potentially get extinct to two decades before their non-vulnerable counterparts (Department of Health & Human Services, 2011b). Health differences that are connected with the aforementioned environmental, social, and economic factors are called health disparities. They impose heavy costs on the nation's economy, as well as a heavy tax on citizens' productivity and health. Unless these issues are dealt with, no progress can be made in improving Americans' well-being and health (Department of Health & Human Services, 2011b).

Recent News Article

Cooper (2016) states that minority groups across America (including the residents of Springfield), encounter a higher risk for diabetes, obesity, elevated blood pressure and other such common health issues. In the year 2012, roughly 34.9% of the overall adult population of the U.S. was obese. But, obesity rates were found to be a lot higher in the African-American (47.8%) and Hispanic (42.5%) populations compared to the nation's White population (32.6%). Around 10.1% of White Americans were uninsured, while 13% of African-Americans and 42.7% of Hispanics (over four times more than Whites) were uninsured (Cooper, 2016).

In Clark County, Hispanics account for over 3% of the population, whereas Non-Hispanic African-American people account for approximately 9%. The County's local medical heads wish to bring healthcare to the localities and bridge the health disparity. Healthcare inaccessibility and absence of insurance may typically result in health issues going unaddressed for longer durations, potentially increasing critical chronic disease cases, like diabetes or cancer (Cooper, 2016).

Handling the Issue of Health Disparity

The Health and Human Services (HHS) department's action plan for reducing disparities complements the National Stakeholder Strategy for Achieving Health Equity of 2011, an NPA (National Partnership for Action) product. The Strategy mirrors the dedication of several thousand people across multiple backgrounds in the nation (Department of Health & Human Services, 2011a). The Strategy was born of a private-public collaboration that sought widespread input of communities, with the aid of federal agencies, and local and state governments. It suggests a community-driven and holistic approach to health disparity reduction in the nation, and the achievement of health equity by means of synergy and cooperation. NPA's Stakeholder Strategy and the pioneer action plan of the HHS can be employed in combination for coordinating action that can successfully tackle nationwide ethnic and racial health disparities. Moreover, the latter initiative builds on the federal healthcare disparities' objectives and goals disclosed recently as part of the "Healthy People 2020" initiative, and leverages important ACA (Affordable Care Act) provisions and those of other novel initiatives of the HHS (Department of Health & Human Services, 2011a).

Through its action plan for reducing ethnic/racial disparities, HHS commits to constantly evaluating the effects of all programs and policies pertaining to ethnic/racial health disparities. Moreover, it can now support best practices, integrated approaches, and evidence-based initiatives for reducing these disparities. NPA's Stakeholder Strategy and HHS's action plan combine and present a prominent and sound nationwide leadership direction among private and public partners (Department of Health & Human Services, 2011a).

The Affordable Care Act (ACA)

HHS's aforementioned action plan utilizes the ACA -- Obama's landmark 2010 law aimed at securing insurance coverage for over 30 million citizens -- as its basis. ACA covers provisions broadly relating to health coverage, care access, and healthcare coverage reforms, as well as provisions connected with disparities reduction,

...

Appendix 'A' offers added details on ACA provisions, which will impact health disparities. The National Prevention and Health Promotion Strategy aimed at focusing national policy on the areas of wellness and prevention, and the National Strategy for Quality Improvement in Health Care that encompasses priorities for improving care delivery are two key ACA-mandated initiatives (Department of Health & Human Services, 2011a).

HHS Initiatives

Besides the ACA, HHS can also leverage other major national programs in its endeavor to lower ethnic and racial health disparities. One such program is Healthy People 2020 having 4 main goals, of which one is achievement of health equity, improvement in all groups' health, and elimination of disparities. All through the current decade, this program will evaluate the nation's health disparities by keeping track of rates of mortality, injury, acute and chronic ailments, and other behaviors relating to health and healthcare for subpopulations that are defined by ethnicity, race, sexual orientation, gender identity, special health needs, geographic location, and disability status (Department of Health & Human Services, 2011a).

Michelle Obama, U.S. First Lady, initiated the 2010 "Let's Move!" program with an aim to resolve the childhood obesity issue within one generation. This program has the following five main pillars:

Ensuring a healthy life start for the nation's children, right from pregnancy throughout the early childhood years;

Empowerment of caregivers and parents for making healthy choices when it comes to family diet;

Serving more nutritious foods in school canteens;

Boosting physical activity; and Ensuring families' access to affordable nutritious foods.

For taking this program to local levels, Mrs. Obama and the Secretary requested local officials and mayors to play the role of public leaders at the program's town and city levels.

The National HIV / AIDS Strategy (NHAS)

Released in July of 2010 by President Obama, the NHAS's vision is to create a nation wherein fresh HIV cases become rare and, in case they do arise, every individual, irrespective of gender, age, socioeconomic status, ethnicity, race, sexual orientation, or gender identity, will enjoy free access to life-extending superior-quality care, that is free from discrimination and stigma (Department of Health & Human Services, 2011a).

Food and Drug Administration Authority to Regulate Tobacco

The Interagency Working Group on Environmental Justice (EJ IWG, Executive Order (E.O.) 12898) instructs all federal agencies to incorporate achievement of environmental justice into their respective missions. Participating agencies including HHS are dedicated to determining and tackling excessively high negative environmental or human health impacts on low-income and minority groups (Department of Health & Human Services, 2011a).

Partnerships with Other Federal Departments

For helping ensure effective action plan implementation, the HHS will work in collaboration with the FIHET (Federal Interagency Health Equity Team), which aims at facilitating NPA activities among federal agencies for increasing program and policy effectiveness and efficiencies at national, state, tribal, and local levels. The FIHET, which comprises of commerce, educational, agricultural, transportation, labor, and urban and housing development department representatives, as well as EPA (Environmental Protection Agency) representatives, can jointly address the wide gamut of social health determinants (Department of Health & Human Services, 2011a).

HHS Infrastructure

Crucial to HHS's success is the reinforcement of its infrastructure for prioritizing the challenges linked to decreasing health gaps and fully implementing its action plan. In accordance with ACA requirements, HHS has established minority health offices in 6 agencies (Food and Drug Administration, Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services, Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration, and Health Resources and Services Administration), as well as elevated NIMHD (previously National Center on Minority Health and Health Disparities) to the level of institute at the National Institutes of Health (Department of Health & Human Services, 2011a).

The Outcome

Numerous interventions for health equality promotion that have been employed by non-physician healthcare providers (e.g., community care managers and health workers) have revealed proof of benefit, despite comparisons across researches being limited by heterogeneity of settings, interventions, and provider types (Quinones & Portland, 2011). One hospital/healthcare facility intervention review revealed that nursing care managers proved efficient in improving both patient outcomes and care quality, including retinopathy onset and diabetes control among minority patient groups. More modest outcomes were associated with telemedical case management, compared to those of on-site nurses. Positive results were linked to other non-doctor interventions, including utilization of medical assistance initiatives and community healthcare workers who offer free medicines (Quinones & Portland, 2011).

Assessment of specialist…

Sources Used in Documents:

References

Center for Disease and Control. (2013). Conclusion and future directions: CDC health disparities and inequalities report -- United States, 2013. CDC Health Disparities and Inequalities Report -- United States, 2013, 62(3), 184.

Cooper, M. (2016). Clark County fighting minority health disparities. Retrieved from http://www.springfieldnewssun.com/news/news/local/clark-county-fighting-minority-health-disparities/nq5wj/

Department of Health & Human Services. (2011a). HHS action plan to reduce racial and ethnic health disparities: A nation free of disparities in health and health care.

Health, U. D. o., & Services, H. (2011b). National partnership for action to end health disparities. Health Equality & Disparities.


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