Improving access to health care for underserved populations and eliminating health inequities were running themes throughout the AHIP 2021 National Conference on Medicare, Medicaid & Dual Eligibles, which was held virtually from Sept. 21-24. Speakers participating in various health equity-focused sessions discussed the importance of and challenges associated with collecting the right data to target members’ needs, which are often not directly related to health care. At AmeriHealth Caritas, which operates Medicaid plans in multiple states, health equity has become a strategic priority, a “key business imperative and a market differentiator,” said Director of Health Equity Danielle Brooks. And all types of data — from claims data to demographic data to information on the social determinants of health (SDOH) — collectively “tells a story about what is happening in our populations,” she said during a panel on data and health equity. Such data also can be used to improve and measure the effectiveness of managed care programs and get at the root causes of health inequities, she added.
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