Workshop 6: Ten Years Later, How Far Have We Come in Reducing Health Disparities?
A decade has passed since several reports from the Surgeon General's office showed dramatic racial and ethnic differences in health arenas such as tobacco use and access to mental health services. People of color suffer from worse health outcomes in terms of higher tobacco use and less access to needed mental health services.
At the same time, nearly a decade has passed since the Institute of Medicine released its landmark report Crossing the Quality Chasm: A New Health System for the 21st Century. This volume highlights the importance of focusing on health care quality, rather than simply cost issues and access issues.
Finally, in 2000, the first real piece of legislation focusing on the reduction of health disparities was passed and was signed into law by President Clinton. Among other actions, this law created the National Center on Minority Health and Health Disparities within the National Institutes of Health and authorized the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality to measure disparities.
The workshop investigated what progress has been made on these issues over the past decade.