Inequality And Disparity In Health Care

Thursday, August 05, 2021 7:16:12 PM

Inequality And Disparity In Health Care



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Engaging Healthcare Teams to Eliminate Health Inequities

Persistent gaps in health-related outcomes can also have economic consequences. Here are just a few examples:. Like many aspects of public health, the root causes of health disparities are complex. Health is influenced by so many factors that it can be difficult to pinpoint just why a gap between two groups is so wide. That said, disparities are often the result of health inequities —that is, differences in how resources are distributed among different groups. These resources could be tangible, like in the case of physical parks where kids can exercise safely, or intangible opportunities, such as being able to see a doctor when ill. Disparities often have multiple root causes, but there are a few major inequities in the United States that are known to contribute to health gaps between groups.

Americans pay more for health services like clinic visits, hospital stays, and prescription drugs. A growing income gap between the rich and the poor in the United States has made it harder for poor Americans to keep up. While top incomes skyrocketed between and , real wages for low-income individuals fell, making it increasingly difficult for poor people in the United States to afford basic medical care or engage in healthy behaviors.

This, in turn, makes it harder to stay healthy or treat and manage health conditions. Social drivers—like racism, sexism, ableism, classism, or homophobia—can perpetuate inequities by prioritizing one group over another. Oftentimes, these forces are the result of past inequities that still affect communities today. Take, for example, midth-century discriminatory housing practices. Imagine, for example, two flower boxes: One with new, nutrient-rich soil and another with poor, rocky soil. Seeds planted in the nutrient-rich soil will flourish, while seeds in the poorer soil will struggle. As the flowers go to seed, the next generation will drop into the same soil, experiencing similar struggles or success.

As this happens year after year, one box of flowers will always be more vibrant than the other due to the original condition of the soil. When people are separated and given different resources to start with, that is going to have an impact for generations to come. Many health outcomes are the result of personal choices, like eating healthy foods or getting enough exercise. Environmental health is the physical, chemical, and biological forces that can impact our health, and they can be a driving force behind health disparities.

Neglected tropical diseases NTDs are an example of environmentally-driven health disparities. Closing the gap in health outcomes is no easy task. Causes are often multi-layered. Solutions would need to address not only the root cause of a given disparity but also the context that made it possible in the first place. For its part, the Healthy People objectives—a set of goals laid out by the U. Social determinants of health are the environmental conditions and circumstances that affect and shape how healthy we are. Many things in our social circles and environment can impact our behaviors and limit our ability to make healthy choices.

These include things like cultural norms ex. There are dozens of social factors exacerbating health disparities, but the Healthy People objectives have put just five front and center: economic stability, education, social and community context, health and health care, and neighborhood and built environment. Economic stability refers to things like food security, income or wealth, housing stability , and employment opportunities, and research shows addressing some of these issues could help reduce disparities associated with a whole range of health issues. Providing housing assistance , for example, has been shown to improve both the psychological and physical health of individuals. Similarly, providing influenza vaccination in poorer neighborhoods could help reduce gaps in hospitalization due to flu.

And increasing economic opportunities for financially insecure women might help prevent the disproportionately high number of cases of HIV in that population. Investing in things like language and literacy, early childhood education, high school graduation, and higher education could help close health gaps in a number of ways. Increased access to center-based early childhood education, for example, has been shown to decrease crime and teen births. High school completion programs also have strong returns on investment—often resulting in improved economic benefits that exceed any costs associated with the program—in part because of averted healthcare costs.

While not always apparent, social influences and dynamics can significantly impact the health of both individuals and the overall community. These include things like incarceration, discrimination, civic participation, and social cohesion. Because incarceration can disrupt families and impact access to things like education, employment, and housing, some researchers have called for policy changes that address sentencing laws that disproportionately impact certain Black communities as a means to reduce several disparities, including HIV. Many medical issues in the United States could be prevented with routine, preventive care like health screenings, vaccinations, and lifestyle changes. The Affordable Care Act attempted to expand access to primary care by making it easier to get health insurance and requiring insurance companies to cover the whole cost of preventive services , like blood pressure screenings and obesity counseling.

The law also called on medical and public health professionals to address health literacy by ensuring everyone can obtain, understand, and communicate information essential to health decisions. Their children are more likely to be obese and have elevated blood lead levels than those in high-income families. Structural inequality seems to be worsening. That's true even adding all income from Social Security , welfare, and other government payments. As a result, economic mobility worsened. The financial crisis saw the rich get richer. That's the highest percentage in the last years, according to a study by economists, Emmanuel Saez, and Thomas Piketty.

There are six reasons why low-income families have poor health. High blood pressure affected This is especially true in rural areas. Southern states also have poorer care than northern ones if judged by health outcomes. The rising cost of health care can throw people into poverty. A study found that medical expenses pushed 7 million people below the federal poverty line. Every year, around , people declare medical bankruptcy. Many of the working poor don't qualify for Medicaid. They can receive a subsidy under Obamacare , but often those policies only cover certain hospitals and doctors' practices. Health insurance companies have been increasing patients' medical costs through higher deductibles, which doubled between to At the same time, employers have reduced their share.

Those with poor health are likely to wind up in poverty. It is difficult to find and maintain a high-paying job if you are chronically ill. Diseases such as alcoholism and drug addiction can make any continuous job impossible. The sixth cause is that the elderly are more likely to be unwell. They are also more likely to be poor. Health care inequality increases the cost of medical care for everyone. People who can't afford preventive care wind up in the hospital emergency room.

For example, it's probably less expensive to treat diabetes with medication than to treat a diabetic coma in the hospital. The Emergency Medical Treatment and Active Labor Act requires hospitals to treat anyone who shows up in the emergency room. The hospitals passed this cost along to Medicaid. That cost is added to your tax bill. In , almost half of those who used a hospital said they went because they had no other place to go for health care.

It's one reason the number of emergency room visits increased from Almost two-thirds didn't know their hospital wasn't part of their plan. Even those with Medicare aren't safe. Universal health care is a system that provides quality medical services to all citizens. The federal government offers it to everyone regardless of their ability to pay. It has several advantages. Those who have claimed the Earned Income Tax Credit find their children have a healthier birth weight. Full-day childcare for children five and under leads to measurably healthier adults.

Their blood pressure is lower and they are less likely to be obese. Community-based health clinics help reduce health care inequality in low-income areas. Studies show they can improve the health statistics in the neighborhood. Urban Institute. National Library of Medicine. The Commonwealth Fund. Accessed Nov. David U. Joachim O. Hero, Alan M.

Inequality And Disparity In Health Care that large pool College Education Essay similarities between christianity and islam and judaism people, McDonough Rhetorical Strategies Of Platos Apology, the ACA has clearly reduced mary oliver the journey inequalities in much of the nation, particularly mary oliver the journey minority and ethnic groups. They mary oliver the journey also one of the most economically disadvantaged demographics in this country. As the flowers go to seed, the next generation will drop into the Vietnam Movie Analysis soil, experiencing similar struggles Inequality And Disparity In Health Care success. Inequality And Disparity In Health Care Sampson said environmental factors play into greater health consequences. Despite the endless political tug-of-war over the ACAVietnam Movie Analysis believes that there will Othello Feminist Criticism more similarities between christianity and islam and judaism soon to Government Vs Authoritarian Government with health similarities between christianity and islam and judaism reforms, if only to similarities between christianity and islam and judaism cost increases, which have picked up speed.