Project Update: NHC Convenes Roundtable on Equity in Access to Care

By: Jennifer Dexter, Director, Policy

As a follow-up to the National Health Council (NHC) and the National Minority Quality Forum (NMQF) consensus statement on health equity, on Friday, Oct. 22, the NHC hosted a Roundtable on advocating for access to an inclusive, equitable, accessible, and high-quality care delivery system.

A group of diverse thought leaders from across the health ecosystem came together and had a robust discussion on issues that plague our health care system when it comes to access to care using an equity lens. We set out to specifically discuss:

  • Workforce;
  • Health Delivery System Infrastructure;
  • Health Literacy and Communications/Navigation;
  • Non-Discrimination Enforcement; and
  • Standards of Care and Access to Diagnosis.

In the coming weeks, the NHC staff will present the group’s recommendations to the NHC’s volunteer policy leadership committee and fine-tune the recommendations in collaboration with NHC membership.

This work builds upon the four principles outlined in our consensus statement:

  1. Promote an inclusive, equitable, accessible, and high-quality care delivery system;
  2. Advocate for equitable access to affordable and comprehensive health insurance coverage;
  3. Partner with organizations that have a track record in addressing social determinants of health to reduce health disparities; and
  4. Collaborate with the biomedical and health-services research and the health economics ecosystem to support equity in development and valuation of new and innovative treatments and services. This includes the collection and reporting of demographic factors in research to include race, disability status, ethnicity, age, sexual orientation and gender identity, and other factors to help identify and eliminate biases.

Our health equity task force serves as advisors for our health equity initiatives by helping to ideate and prioritize a series of Roundtables, identify other member-facing resources, and advise the NHC on planning additional activities. Supporting the task force are four Roundtable work groups that will each focus on one of the issues outlined in our consensus statement. 

For more information, check out our website for additional resources and information on health equity, diversity, and inclusion here.