Many stakeholders across the Commonwealth of Massachusetts are actively focused on addressing racism in the health care delivery system and reducing health disparities, but efforts are often siloed. Systemic racism, both structural and interpersonal, has long pervaded and been perpetuated by the health care system in America and is rife in care delivery, health coverage, and payment policy; social systems that impact health; and other institutions that comprise or support the health care system. For Massachusetts to be a national leader in advancing health equity it needs the coordinated collective action of health care delivery entities, state regulators, employers, health care payers, communities, philanthropy, and others.
With this as context, the Blue Cross Blue Shield Foundation of Massachusetts partnered with Manatt Health to develop a vision, framework, and proposed statewide Health Equity Action Plan that offers an organizing structure, process, and set of practical steps for collectively achieving a racially and ethnically equitable health care delivery system in Massachusetts.
The Health Equity Action Plan is accompanied by a toolkit, which includes an illustrative set of interventions and best practices from Massachusetts and across the country that providers, health care delivery system leaders, and other stakeholders can deploy to achieve the envisioned system. The focus of this report is on racial and ethnic inequities in the health care delivery system and therefore can be considered a first phase in a larger system-wide effort to eliminate all inequities that affect people’s health.