Today on HS we will take a closer look at health care disparities – the differences in the quality of care that some groups receive. Specifically, why is it that low income groups and racial and ethnic minorities tend to have poorer health care outcomes as compared to whites?
Typically when a person seeks medical attention they are told what they need to do or stop doing (exercise, eat healthier, stop smoking, lose wt). If you don’t get better you might begin to believe that your actions or lack of actions are the sole reason for your condition.
But what if your condition is due to something your health care provider is doing or not doing. What if you’re being treated differently because of your race or income level? Back in 2003, the landmark report “Unequal Treatment: Confronting Racial and Ethnic Disparities in Health Care” revealed that sometimes minorities receive a lower quality of care and experience worse health care outcomes as a result. Since Unequal Treatment, hundreds of studies have corroborated that racial inequalities exist in health care (including access and quality) and differences in outcomes result.
But why is the quality of care different based on the color of your skin or your income? Why is it that if you enter the Emergency Department with chest pain, you might not be treated as aggressively as someone who is white? Recently the literature has exposed a contributing factor that is quite disconcerting and it’s gaining a lot of attention. That factor is unconscious bias, also known as Implicit bias.
On Thursday, February 11th from 1:00 to 2:00, HealthCetera features a special program on unconcsious bias. Co-producer Kenya Beard, EdD, RN, NP-C, and Diana Mason, PhD, RN, interview Dayna Bowen Matthew, JD, Professor of Law at University of Colorado Law School and the Colorado School of Public Health. Dr. Bowen Matthew is the Co-founder of the Colorado Health Equity Project, an organization to form medical legal partnerships and remove barriers to good health for low-income clients. She is the author of the book, “Just Medicine: A Cure for Racial Inequality in American Health Care” that will be offered as a premium for listeners who call into the program and become a member of WBAI.
You can listen to the whole program here:
So tune into WBAI, 99.5 FM in New York City or online at http://www.wbai.org on Thursday, February 11, 2016, for this HealthCetera special.
HealthCetera is sponsored by the Center for Health, Media & Policy at Hunter College, City University of New York.