Posted on December 13, 2021

December 13, 2021 – NEHI has partnered with Eli Lilly & Company and Avalere Health to release a new report today on advancing health and health care equity in the United States.

The new report, Equity in Health and Health Care: A Roadmap to Collaborative Action, outlines priorities for action by government, industry, and community organizations in three areas vital to progress on health equity: health care access, digital health and connectivity, and data sharing and analytics (“data-driven health care”).

The roadmap is based on recommendations made at the September 15, 2021, virtual summit organized by Lilly and NEHI in collaboration with Avalere Health. More than 300 individuals participated in the summit, representing private industry, academia, and community-based organizations located throughout the country, including members of CEO Action for Racial Equity, a coalition of over 100 organizations collaborating on new equity initiatives. Featured speakers at the summit included chief executive officers of the National Quality Forum, National Minority Quality Forum, American Telemedicine Association, National Association of Health Care Purchaser Coalitions, CareQuest Institute, and the Patient-Centered Outcomes Research Institute.

“There are many innovations in health care today, such as those in digital health and data analytics, that show great promise for improving health among historically underserved Americans,” said NEHI CEO Wendy Warring. “But without affordable and convenient access to these innovations, and without the accountability that comes with measurable outcomes, longstanding health disparities could widen even further. Our roadmap is designed to spark collaborations to promote measurable progress through private sector initiative and policy.”

“Avalere Health celebrates the launch of Equity in Health and Health Care: A Roadmap to Collaborative Action by Lilly and NEHI,” said Kelly Brantley, Practice Director of Policy Practice at Avalere. “This Roadmap showcases the key collaboration needed to advance health equity for all. We encourage stakeholders to leverage the roadmap to engage in discussions around the key priority areas mentioned in the roadmap - digital health and connectivity, data-driven health care, and health care access.”

In addition to recommendations in the three fields of health care access, digital health, and data-driven health care, the roadmap also outlines four principles for collaborative action among private sector, community-based, and government organizations:

  1. A shared strategic focus on equitable and measurable health outcomes, with all equity-related policies and practices assessed against metrics of improved outcomes;
  2. New commitment to non-traditional partnerships, such as partnerships among private industry, health care delivery systems, and community-based organizations;
  3. New investment in community-based infrastructure, such as local broadband, that is critical to improving care and outcomes; and
  4. Collaboration on advocacy to promote high-priority, time-sensitive changes in policy.

Recommendations summarized in the roadmap include:

Health Care Access

  • Promote greater flexibility and incentives for health care that addresses social needs
  • Align payment incentives with health outcomes that advance health equity
  • Increase access to clinical trials for Black, Indigenous, and people of color (BIPOC) communities
  • Promote greater flexibility for value-based arrangements based on measurable, equity-related outcomes

Digital Health and Connectivity

  • Improve Medicaid reimbursement to incentivize the adoption of telehealth and digital health solutions
  • Make permanent and improve COVID-19 telehealth regulatory flexibilities
  • Expand adequate and reliable broadband access in underserved areas
  • Engage communities in the development of digital health solutions
  • Provide technical support to facilitate uptake of digital health tools in low-resource settings

Data-Driven Health Care  

  • Improve electronic health record infrastructure in low-resource care settings
  • Develop standards for the collection of race and ethnicity data
  • Develop standards for the collection and sharing of social determinants of health (SDoH) data
  • Engage communities to improve the collection of individual-level SDoH data

NEHI CEO Wendy Warring commented, “We are pleased and grateful for our collaboration with Eli Lilly on the health equity summit and roadmap. Equitable access to innovations in health care is a core goal for NEHI. The health equity summit is shaping our project agenda for 2022 and beyond, and we look forward to following up with NEHI member organizations in the coming weeks.”

Equity in Health and Health Care: A Roadmap to Collaborative Action can be downloaded here.


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