Achieving health equity begins with an ability to identify health disparities and their causes. To do that, we must have complete and accurate data on race, ethnicity, and other drivers of health. For far too long, large percentages of race and ethnicity data have been missing from federal and state health programs, with little progress towards closing the gaps. To identify the barriers and opportunities, Grantmakers In Health, in collaboration with the National Committee for Quality Assurance, interviewed a variety of stakeholders across the country, representing all levels of the health system. The first of two reports, Federal Action Is Needed to Improve Race and Ethnicity Data in Health Programs, identifies tangible actions to help improve the completeness, accuracy, and usability of race and ethnicity data.
Philanthropy has a critical role to play in ensuring that health disparities are acknowledged and addressed, and can work directly with state and federal government to support the implementation of the actions outlined in this report.