COVID-19 Sounds Insurer Call to Action on Racism in Health Care

As the COVID-19 pandemic continues to ravage the U.S., recent research from the Kaiser Family Foundation demonstrates that people of color are more likely to test positive, require hospitalization and higher levels of care, and die from the novel coronavirus than white patients. This stark reality was top of mind during two industry conferences last month, as panelists from Medicare Advantage and Medicaid managed care organizations discussed the urgency of addressing racial disparities in health care and ways insurers can address them, from granular data collection and diverse hiring practices to working more collaboratively to effect change among providers.

As part of its “Bold Goal” initiative, Humana Inc. for several years been collecting data about various factors that impact the health of members in select communities around the country, and is now “digging into that next layer to really understand those determinants,” explained Vice President of Bold Goal and Population Health Caraline Coats during a panel at the Better Medicare Alliance (BMA) 2020 Medicare Advantage Summit, held virtually from Oct. 14-16.

© 2021 MMIT

Lauren Flynn Kelly Managing Editor, Radar on Medicare Advantage

Lauren has been covering health business issues, including drug benefits and specialty pharmacy, for more than a decade. She served as editor of Drug Benefit News (the predecessor to Radar on Drug Benefits) from 2004 to 2005 and again from 2011 to 2016, and now manages Radar on Medicare Advantage. Lauren graduated from Vassar College with a B.A. in English.

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