To help address the racial and regional disparities and boost the quality of care that people receive, the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation has pledged $300 million as part of an initiative called Aligning Forces for Quality to improve care in 14 communities across the country. Taken together, those 14 areas cover 11% of the U.S. population, the foundation said.
Wide differences in the way whites and blacks seek medical care have led to a treatment gap across races and regions, according to new research released by the foundation and Dartmouth Atlas Project.
Researchers found, for instance, a major gap across color linesand state linesin whether patients lost a leg to amputation from diabetes. Blacks were five times more likely to lose a leg than whites, the study shows. Additionally, the study found that white women were more inclined to seek basic recommended care, such as mammography tests and blood work, than black women. These findings underscore the importance of the local healthcare system as the focus for efforts to improve care, Elliott Fisher, director of the Center for Health Policy Research at Dartmouth and a co-author of the report, said in a written statement. -- by Matthew DoBias