Equity in Heath Care & Safety Re-affirming 2002 Policy
WHEREAS, the study made public by the Institute of Medicine on March 21, 2002 is the first comprehensive look at racial disparities in healthcare among people who have insurance; and
WHEREAS, the study found that racial and ethnic minorities receive lower quality healthcare than non-minorities, even when access factors such as patient's insurance status and income are controlled; and
WHEREAS, the study found that the source of the disparities are rooted in historic and contemporary inequities and involve many participants at several levels, including health systems, their administrative and bureaucratic processes, utilization managers, healthcare professionals, and patients; and
WHEREAS, the study found that minorities are less likely to be given appropriate medications for heart disease or to undergo bypass surgery, are less likely to receive kidney dialysis or transplants than whites and are also less likely to receive the most sophisticated treatments for HIV infection, which could delay the onset of AIDS; and
WHEREAS, the study found that in major medical centers in New York State, African-Americans were 37% less likely to undergo angioplasty and other heart procedures, including bypass surgery, than whites and in ninety (90%) percent of the cases in which patients did not get the surgery, the doctor had not recommended it; and
WHEREAS, minorities are more likely to receive certain less desirable procedures; for example, African-Americans are 3.6 times as likely as whites to have lower limbs amputated as a result of diabetes; and
WHEREAS, in interviews with doctors, researcher found "classic negative racial stereotypes," such as assumptions that African-American patients would be less likely to participate in follow-up care.
THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED, that the NAACP support the Institute of Medicine's recommendation to improve the quality of care for racial and ethnic minorities by promoting the increase of the proportion of under-represented U.S. racial and ethnic minorities among healthcare professionals; and
BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED, that the NAACP promote culturally appropriate education programs to improve minority knowledge of how to access care and how to improve the ability to participate in clinical decision-making; and
BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED, that the NAACP promote cross-cultural curricula to be integrated into the training of future healthcare provider and practical, care-based, rigorously evaluated training to persist through practitioner continuing education programs; and
BE IT FINALLY RESOLVED, that the NAACP urge health plans, federal and state payers to collect, report and monitor patient care data as a means to assess progress in eliminating disparities, to evaluate intervention efforts, and to assess potential civil rights violations.