Healthcare disparities continues to be one of the nation’s most important healthcare challenges to date. For reasons reviewed disparities disproportionally affect minorities and low-income individuals. These individuals are more likely to be uninsured and have higher rates of chronic diseases compared to their counterparts. Surveillance of health status in minority communities explains why this problem in the United States is so important to the future of the country, data shows the number of racial and ethnic minorities in the United States are growing at a fast rate, but structures designed to monitor the health status and disparity factors surrounding this group is limited.

Before we determine what factors cause health disparities and how certain groups are affected by these factors, it’s critical to determine a few important definitions, and how they relate to the following research review. The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) defines health disparities as:

“A particular type of health difference that is closely linked with social, economic, and/or environmental disadvantage. Health disparities adversely affect groups of people who have systematically experienced greater obstacles to health based on their racial or ethnic group; religion; socioeconomic status; gender; age; mental health; cognitive, sensory, or physical disability; sexual orientation or gender identity; geographic location; or other characteristics historically linked to discrimination or exclusion.” (Healthy People 2020)

Statistics collected show there are obvious disparities in quality of health among Americans living in the United States. The purpose of this literature is to investigate factors that influence healthcare quality in the United States, determining if the health in equality issue in America is disproportionately distributed within the population, and whether race/ethnicity and socioeconomic status play a major role. Knowing this will empower communities affected by these inequalities, improving their health and overall quality of life. This information will also allow healthcare providers, public health practitioners, polices makers, and community leaders to work in partnership with researchers by looking outside of the clinical setting to improve social determinants that contribute to health disparities.

Year Manuscript Completed

Spring 2019

Senior Project Advisor

Mr. Mike Barton

Degree Awarded

Bachelor of Integrated Studies Degree

Field of Study

Health Care Administration

Document Type