According to the Centers for Disease Control, “Health equity is achieved when every person has the opportunity to attain his or her full health potential and no one is disadvantaged from achieving this potential because of social position or other socially determined circumstances. Health inequities are reflected in differences in length of life; quality of life; rates of disease, disability, and death; severity of disease; and access to treatment.”
There are a myriad of studies drawing attention to disparities that exist within the healthcare system. While the problem is well known within the healthcare system, disparities are pervasive – and in many cases worsening. The COVID-19 pandemic has only exacerbated this problem, while the social justice movement has shown a brighter spotlight on inequities that exist in access, treatment and care within the current system.
Introducing the sixth installment in Porter Novelli’s Focus research series: Porter Novelli Focus: Health Equity.
In this research, we explore American perceptions and understanding of inequities in our healthcare system – and which organizations are responsible to solve for these inequities. Our data reveals a majority of Americans believe the responsibility primarily falls with health insurance companies and government units – but entities across the industry must play a role. The research also outlines specific actions Americans would like organizations to take to improve equity and access to healthcare.
Key Findings Include:
- Americans cite health insurance companies (50%) followed by federal government (48%) as the top two entities responsible for addressing inequities in the healthcare system
- Americans believe income level (69%), where a person lives (64%) and physical or mental disabilities (60%) are the top determinants that impact the type of healthcare an individual receives
- Americans believe low-income populations are the most negatively affected by health inequalities
- 38% of Americans believe that helping to educate healthcare professionals (e.g., doctors, nurses, pharmacists) on how to better support individual needs and working with government to identify solutions to address health inequities are the top ways organizations can improve health equity and access to healthcare