Reaching the goal of a truly equitable health system in America will require several broad national strategies. These include a national commitment to adequate, affordable, and accessible care for all U.S. residents; greater state-level experimentation; and better designed financial assistance for coverage. It will also need a strong community health system that emphasizes social determinants of health (such as housing, transportation, and other local non-clinical factors influencing health) as well as deeper structural determinants of health inequities—including racism, the legal process, and economic barriers.

Within the context of these strategies, achieving equity also requires tactical steps that are consistent with broader strategies, building institutions and procedures within under-resourced communities that will help address the specific health needs of those neighborhoods. In our work examining health care and social determinants of health, we have encountered several examples of initiatives that should be considered as deliberate approaches to help improve health care and mitigate inequities in health—including access, resources, environment, culture, and health behaviors. Here are five examples of those approaches:

  1. Teleheath to improve access to care
  2. Expand health care teams
  3. Partner with community assets
  4. Improve coordination between housing and healthcare 
  5. Increase access to mental health services

Read the full article about health equity by Stuart M Butler and Nehath Sheriff at Brookings.