Roadmap to reducing health disparities in Black America - Primary Health

Roadmap to reducing health disparities in Black America

  • February 7, 2024

  • Primary.Health Editorial Team

  • 2 minutes

Together, we must do the work to break down systemic racial barriers to care and improve health outcomes.

During Black History Month, we celebrate the Black community’s many achievements in art, medicine, business, and other arenas. However, we cannot ignore a more sobering Black reality: barriers to accessing healthcare that impact health outcomes. 

Today, we highlight some racial health inequities and suggest ways communities, healthcare systems, and legislators can break down these roadblocks and improve access to care for Black Americans.

Health disparities in the Black community

Consider these glaring health disparities faced by Blacks, who in 2023 made up 13.6 percent of the U.S. population:

  • Black adults are more likely than White adults to perceive and report experiencing discrimination in healthcare – to the point where some black patients change their behavior to reduce the chance of discrimination.
How to reduce inequities

Many factors contribute to health disparities, including social determinants of health, variation in quality healthcare, underlying chronic conditions, structural racism, and implicit bias. 

The International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health recently outlined a detailed roadmap for communities, healthcare, and communicators to reduce racial inequities in health. A priority is creating “communities of opportunity,” which develop early childhood development tools, policies to reduce childhood poverty, income opportunities for adults, and healthy housing and neighborhood conditions. Roadmap strategies also include championing access to healthcare and raising awareness of inequities to build public support and empathy.

At the same time, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention suggests practical actions healthcare providers and public health organizations can take to help reduce the day-to-day inequities Black patients face:

  • Provide all patients with respectful quality care.
  • Ask questions to better understand your patients and social factors that affect their lives, like employment, housing, transportation, substance use, or violence.
  • Help patients manage chronic conditions like hypertension, diabetes, or depression with regular testing.
  • Improve delivery of quality prenatal and postpartum care.
  • Cultivate health literacy practices to improve access.
  • Recognize and work to eliminate unconscious bias in themselves or their offices.
Let’s bridge the gap to healthcare access together

Primary.Health is committed to partnerships that end the spread of infectious disease by delivering testing, vaccinations, and care to everyone, regardless of race or circumstances. Please reach out to discuss affordable, accessible solutions to bridge the gap to healthcare access for the people you serve.

Our latest healthcare newsletter delivered to your inbox.