State Health and Value Strategies (SHVS), in partnership with Manatt Health, Health Equity Solutions, Georgetown’s Center on Health Insurance Reforms (CHIR), the State Health Access Data Assistance Center (SHADAC), Bailit Health, and GMMB, developed this resource page to serve as an accessible “one-stop” source of health equity information for states. This resource is designed to support states seeking to make coverage and essential services available to all of their residents, regardless of where they live, how much money they make, or discrimination they face. SHVS will update this page frequently with new resources as they become available.
The Biden-Harris Administration is announcing a series of actions to expand access to COVID-19 vaccines to the hardest-hit and highest-risk communities across the country.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) today announced a plan to invest $2.25 billion over two years to address Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19)-related health disparities and advance health equity among populations that are at high-risk and underserved, including racial and ethnic minority groups and people living in rural areas.
The Biden Administration has set a goal to have 300 million individuals vaccinated across the United States by July 2021 and Governors are at the forefront of this vaccine distribution effort. Adding urgency to this challenge, new and more transmissible COVID-19 viral variants are spreading across the country, increasing pressure on states to quickly vaccinate as many individuals as possible, while ensuring equity and maintaining other mitigation measures to limit viral transmission.
To provide greater insight into who is receiving the vaccine and whether some groups are facing disparities in vaccination, KFF is collecting and analyzing state-reported data on COVID-19 vaccinations by race/ethnicity. As of March 15, 2021, 44 states were reporting vaccination data by race/ethnicity. This analysis examines how the vaccinations have been distributed by race/ethnicity and the share of the total population vaccinated by race/ethnicity.
During February 12–October 15, 2020, the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic resulted in approximately 7,900,000 aggregated reported cases and approximately 216,000 deaths in the United States.* Among COVID-19–associated deaths reported to national case surveillance during February 12–May 18, persons aged ≥65 years and members of racial and ethnic minority groups were disproportionately represented (1). This report describes demographic and geographic trends in COVID-19–associated deaths reported to the National Vital Statistics System† (NVSS) during May 1–August 31, 2020, by 50 states and the District of Columbia.
The plan provides officials with the tools to create, implement, and support a vaccination campaign that works with BIPOC communities to remedy COVID-19 impacts
With the possibility of a COVID-19 vaccine growing closer, increasing attention is focused on how it may be distributed, a responsibility that will largely fall to state, territorial, and local governments. Preventing racial disparities in uptake of a COVID-19 vaccine will be important for helping to mitigate the disproportionate impacts of the virus for people of color and preventing widening racial health disparities going forward. Moreover, reaching high vaccination rates across individuals and communities will be key for achieving broader population immunity through a vaccine. This brief provides an overview of barriers to vaccination that disproportionately affect people of color and discusses how current national recommendations and state vaccine allocation plans address racial equity.
The presidential transition and the incoming Biden-Harris administration’s commitment to addressing the equity issues associated withtheCOVID-19pandemicprovide an opportunity to identify programmatic and policy approaches that can ensure the kind of participation in containment and prevention strategies that will address the disproportionate disparities we see every day.
This paper identifies the services that are essential to an equity-centric approach totheCOVID-19pandemic, as well as the infrastructure and workforce needed to ensure these services are available and have an equity focus.It reviews a set of administrative and legislative steps that the new presidential administration can take to strengthen the immediate response to the pandemic and address the long-term health and social needs the pandemic has exacerbated. Finally, it offers a strategy for “building back better” in the long term.
A national, ongoing survey explores deep-rooted views of those with low and middle incomes, with a focus on people of color, on health, equity and race.
Nationwide, the U.S. vaccination rollout has been plagued by data gaps, which threaten to make it harder to hold leaders accountable for their goals, obfuscate if and when we reach the long-sought goal of herd immunity, and erode public confidence in the entire vaccination process.
A new Health Affairs blog post authored by Dr. Nathan Chomilo, Medical Director for the State of Minnesota’s Medicaid program and a practicing pediatrician and an internal medicine hospitalist with Park Nicollet Health Services/HealthPartners, highlights how racial equity can be built into research and policy and why this is important step as states and policymakers seek to dismantle structure racism in the health care system. Dr. Chomilo notes several examples of how stakeholders can assess research and policy for racial equity at the start. These examples include requiring a racial equity assessment at the start of the development of research proposals aimed at answering policy questions to help ensure investigators have, at the very least, stopped to ask how their work may or may not contribute to structural racism or advance racial justice and improving and standardizing ways to collect race, ethnicity, and language demographic data for not only public payers such as Medicare and Medicaid but all health insurers, social safety-net programs, and education systems.
The COVID crisis is revealing the extent of the disparities facing black, indigenous, and people of color. People of color are infected by COVID and dying of COVID at rates higher than their percentage of the population. Black, Hispanic, and American Indian and Alaska Native people are also at higher risk of being hospitalized with COVID. Medicaid has an opportunity and a responsibility to lead efforts to advance health equity by virtue of the population it serves and its unique leverage point within states as a payer. Medicaid Directors at NAMD’s Fall 2020 meeting illustrated how they are taking steps to address equity both internally, among their staff, and externally, among the members they serve.
This infographic explores the history of racial bias and discrimination in health care and during the pandemic, and highlights strategies to address systemic racism and improve health outcomes.
California’s Blueprint for a Safer Economy includes a health equity metric which will be used (along with other metrics) to determine a county’s tier. The purpose of this metric is to ensure California reopens its economy safely by reducing disease transmission in all communities. This document outlines the equity metric and requirements which is effective October 6, 2020.
A collection of essays from various authors which is JHPPL’s first effort to make sense of the pandemic as a political, social, and comparative phenomenon that is likely to redefine public health, health policy,and health care politics for years to come.
With the rapid expansion of telemedicine in light of the COVID-19 pandemic, ensuring that remote care reaches diverse, low-income patients and promotes health equity, rather than exacerbating health disparities, is critical. Through a partnership between the Center for Care Innovations, UCSF’s Center for Vulnerable Populations (CVP), and the Commonwealth Fund, we have developed this toolkit to provide background information as well as concrete guidance relevant to safety-net healthcare systems looking to initiate, expand, or improve their telemedicine programs.
A new open enrollment landscape created by the continued health and economic impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic, a national movement calling for racial justice, and the concurrent timing of a presidential election year is raising new challenges for states as they plan outreach and enrollment campaigns. Marketplaces are reimagining their campaign strategies to meet this moment, with plans to operationalize virtual activities, communicate with new and existing audiences, and reflect changing consumer behaviors in their outreach tactics. This expert perspective highlights strategies from SHVS’ 2-part webinar series on preparing for OEP 2021 and features several strategies states can pursue to help ensure a successful open enrollment period this year.
In light of recent postal delays and housing displacements caused by the COVID-19 pandemic and related economic crisis, and a wave of natural disasters across the country, state Medicaid and Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP) agencies face new challenges communicating with their enrollees about their health coverage. Acting now to mitigate these challenges is essential as states are preparing for the end of the public health emergency (PHE) and “catching up” on coverage renewals for a large portion of their enrollees. This expert perspective reviews strategies that state Medicaid and CHIP agencies may consider to help mitigate coverage losses.
Blog post that explores health inequities tied to lack of access to energy, water and broadband
During this COCA Call, Presenters of this webinar discussed the intersection of telehealth and health equity and implications for health services during the COVID-19 pandemic. Presenters identified long-standing systemic health and social inequities that contribute to COVID-19 health disparities, while highlighting opportunities and limitations of telehealth implementation as an actionable solution.
As the COVID-19 pandemic continues across the United States, states, payers, and providers are looking for ways to expand access to telehealth services. Telehealth is an essential tool in ensuring patients are able to access the healthcare services they need in as safe a manner as possible. In order to provide our clients with quick and actionable guidance on the evolving telehealth landscape, Manatt Health has developed a federal and comprehensive 50-state tracker for policy, regulatory and legal changes related to telehealth during the COVID-19 pandemic.
CDC released a new study examining the disproportionate impacts of COVID-19 on American Indians and Alaska Natives (AI/AN) in 23 states between January 31 and July 3. The report found:
• The cumulative incidence of laboratory-confirmed COVID-19 cases among AI/AN was 3.5 times that of non-Hispanic whites
• Compared to whites, a higher percentage of cases among AI/AN individuals were in people under 18 years of age (12.9 percent AI/AN; 4.3 percent white)
• A smaller percentage of cases were among AI/AN individuals who are 65 years or older (12.6 percent AI/AN; 28.6 percent white)
CDC’s COVID-19 Response Health Equity Strategy broadly seeks to improve the health outcomes of populations disproportionately affected by focusing on four priority areas.
On Wednesday, July 22, State Health and Value Strategies hosted part II of the Preparing for OEP 2021 webinar series that provided a deep dive into effective strategies to consider as states design their outreach and education campaigns for OEP 2021 in a shifting health care environment. Presenters from GMMB explored how the impacts of COVID-19 should inform the marketplace’s tactical campaign approaches for virtual outreach and partnership engagement, digital and social platform usage, and paid advertising and earned media. Participants also heard insights from several state officials from state-based marketplaces along the way. Topics for discussion included coordinating with state agencies, engaging micro-influencers, leveraging social media live streams, hosting virtual enrollment events, developing advertising buys, and considering new earned media hooks. This webinar included a question and answer session during which webinar participants can pose their questions to the experts on the line.
This post will present a framework for understanding health disparities during the COVID-19 pandemic, as well as provide short-term and long-term solutions to reduce these disparities.
This expert perspective highlights examples employed by DC Health Link, the Oregon Health Authority, and beWellnm and the community-centered outreach they are using to actively enroll and connect consumers to care. The expert perspective also includes best practices surfaced for marketplaces and agencies to adapt their COVID-19 communications and outreach—and beyond—to ensure those with inequitable access to health coverage are prioritized and supported.
HHS’ Office for Civil Rights (OCR) issued guidance to recipients of federal financial assistance on applicable federal civil rights laws and regulations that prohibit discrimination on the basis of race, color, and national origin in HHS-funded programs during COVID-19. In its guidance, OCR identified a range of activities and policies that recipients of federal financial assistance, including state and local agencies, hospitals, and other health care providers, should implement to ensure compliance with Title VI during the public health emergency.
The Committee on Ways and Means Majority at the US House of Representatives authored a report on the stark barriers that communities of color and rural communities face to accessing equitable health care.
Policy makers can help ameliorate disparities by mandating standardized case and fatality reporting requirements and directing public health agencies to investigate why particular populations, including Asian Americans, face a seemingly heightened risk of death from COVID-19.
This memo provides a summary of policy approaches to address the disproportionate impact of COVID-19 on communities of color.
Health system leaders and policy makers should take the lead in addressing alarming disparities in COVID-19 deaths.
Considering both the public health crisis and future patient needs, Families USA has assembled state policy recommendations around three themes: 1) improving telehealth financing and implementation models to increase reach; 2) removing provider barriers to increase access to telehealth; and, 3) bridging the digital divide to improve patient access to telehealth services.
The Health Opportunity and Equity (HOPE) Initiative, funded by the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, provides an interactive data tool to help the nation and states to move beyond measuring disparities to spur action toward health equity.
This expert perspective provides an update on states’ reporting of health equity data and a summary of CARES Act reporting requirements.
The COVID-19 pandemic has introduced new challenges for Navigators. To learn more about their experience, and how they are helping consumers manage often unexpected transitions in coverage, this blog post highlights conversations with six navigators across five states using the FFM to hear how they were faring.
On Friday, June 12 at 12:00 p.m. ET, State Health & Value Strategies hosted a webinar during which experts from Manatt Health and Georgetown reviewed the current telehealth policy landscape and considerations for states as they design their post-apex telehealth policies. This webinar included a question and answer session during which webinar participants posed their questions to the experts on the line.
Targeted testing and contact tracing represent a more ethical approach to lifting pandemic restrictions and opening up the economy given limited test supplies.
In April 2020, Louisiana announced the formation of a COVID-19 Health Equity Task Force. In June 2020, the task force provided recommendations relative to health inequities which are affecting communities that are most impacted by the coronavirus.
This article examines why it is important to go further and examine the root cause of racial disparities in underlying health conditions and COVID-19 outcomes.
Based on recommendations of the Health Disparity Task Force, Governor Tom Wolf announced the state is now collecting sexual orientation and gender identity data as part of the state’s COVID-19 data collection effort.
The Ohio Department of Health created a new position that will build on existing efforts to respond to health inequity by working directly with local communities on their specific long-term health needs and Ohio’s response to COVID-19.
Governor Mike DeWine formed the COVID-19 Minority Health Strike Force on April 20, 2020, in response to the disproportionate impact of COVID-19 on minorities in Ohio. The strike force contracted with the Health Policy Institute of Ohio (HPIO) to develop this “COVID-19 Ohio Minority Health Strike Force Blueprint.”
The state of New York is expanding access to testing for communities of color and low-income neighborhoods by establishing an initial 24 testing sites at churches in predominantly minority communities in downstate New York.
The Wisconsin Department of Health Services (DHS) announced $10 million in funding for health care providers serving the state’s most underserved populations, including rural health clinics, tribal health clinics, community health centers, and free and low cost clinics.
The Virginia Department of Health and the Health Equity Task Force partnered with a local media outlet to provide information about the next phases of the recovery process and its implications for health equity.
The Virginia Department of Health and the Health Equity Task Force partnered with a local media outlet to provide information about the next phases of the recovery process and its implications for health equity.
The Governor of New Jersey signed legislation, S2357, requiring hospitals to report demographic data to the Department of Health, including age, ethnicity, gender, and race of individuals who have tested positive for COVID-19, who have died from COVID-19, and who have tried to get testing but have been turned away.
This brief describes health equity principles for states as they design and implement their responses.
The task force will act in an advisory capacity to the Governor and study the causes of racial disparities in the impact of COVID-19 and recommend actions to immediately address such disparities and the historical and systemic inequities that underlie them.
Medicaid agencies can leverage existing and new authorities, enabled through recent COVID-19 federal regulatory flexibilities, to develop a broad plan for addressing disparities in the near-and long-term.
Webinar on racial inequities of COVID-19 and impact on communities of color.
Recommendations developed by the Connecticut Health Foundation aimed at ensuring the state’s COVID-19 response reaches those who are most at risk.
COVID-19 has urgently demonstrated that everyone needs to live in safe and healthy communities. The people most affected by COVID-19 are communities of color, people with low income, immigrants, and other underserved groups. These groups are most vulnerable in part because of existing laws and policies that affect the fundamental drivers of health inequities. Communities and local governments that take steps to ensure health, safety, housing, food, and economic stability for all of their residents will be helping to prevent the spread of COVID-19 and laying the groundwork for health equity and prosperity for future generations. To help communities and local governments strengthen their response to COVID-19 and advance health equity, ChangeLab Solutions is publishing a blog series about policies that governments can enact right away.
This comprehensive report begins by describing the link between social injustice and COVID-19 outcomes at the local level, including original analysis of economic and disease data for 11 counties with high Black and Latino populations that are among the hardest-hit counties in the United States. The second section of this report provides an action guide for health equity advocates, identifying short-term policy options that respond to the current pandemic and longer-term policy.
This expert perspective looks in more depth at which states are regularly reporting data that helps shed light on the health equity issues of this crisis. Specifically, the post includes interactive maps that explore the extent to which all 50 states and the District of Columbia are reporting (as of May 28) data breakdowns by age, gender, race, ethnicity, and health care workers for both cases of and deaths from COVID-19.
This Health Affairs blog post highlights states’ policy responses to the COVID-19 pandemic, as well as their proactive approaches to addressing a wide range of health concerns.
Opinion piece written by Dr. Richard Besser, President and CEO of the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation and former acting director of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
On Thursday, May 7, State Health and Value Strategies hosted a webinar that reported on how states are tracking the disproportionate impact of COVID-19 on vulnerable populations and provided a framework for states to examine their COVID-19 response efforts to yield better outcomes for such populations. As the COVID-19 crisis evolves, it has become increasingly clear that vulnerable populations are disproportionately impacted. Unsurprisingly, these disparately affected groups are the same ones that have long experienced stark health disparities, such as communities of color, low income populations, and those that reside in congregate living facilities (nursing homes, jails, shelters, etc.). During the webinar, technical experts from Health Equity Solutions and SHADAC shared findings from recent SHVS publications.
Early evidence suggests there are health disparities based on race, gender, and geography in both the contraction of COVID-19 and deaths related to the virus. People of color and those who live in urban centers are faring worse from this pandemic. These higher rates of illness and death are rooted in longstanding, structural inequities in our country. While these inequities cannot be fixed overnight, states can begin to foster a more equitable and just COVID-19 response, relief, and recovery effort by employing a few key guidelines. This expert perspective poses a series of questions states can use to inform immediate actions to strengthen their initial responses and lay the foundation for broader reforms to advance health equity.
A follow-up story on a webinar, Pursuing Data on COVID-19: The Health Inequity Multiplier
Telehealth increases convenience for both the doctor and patient and decreases everyone’s risk of exposure to COVID-19. But telehealth also has limitations, the most obvious of which are that it does not allow for physical exams or lab tests. Less obvious though, is the potential of telehealth to exacerbate health disparities.
Public conversations surrounding COVID-19 health outcomes in Black and Latino communities must address the role of structural racism, including how community trauma, neighborhood disinvestment, and environmental toxins can cause or further exacerbate those conditions, and how these, in turn, are driven by inequities in political power and economic opportunities. This webinar, co-hosted by Families USA and the National Urban League, highlights findings from “The Fierce Urgency of Now: Federal and State Policy Recommendations to Address Health Inequities in the Era of COVID-19”, and discusses how COVID-19 reveals legacies of disinvestment and inequities in communities of color, and how you can take action to organize for justice at the state and federal level.
The COVID-19 pandemic has brought to light some limitations in our nation’s capacity to share and use health information.
This expert perspective reviews the key indicators currently being tracked by states via their COVID-19 dashboards and also provides an overview of “best practices” states can consider when developing or modifying these same COVID-19 dashboards.
An article detailing how community health centers in Connecticut are building up their telemedicine capabilities.