Disparities and Health Equity

The differences in ability to access health care and in health outcomes across the population.

Novello Inspires Action at 2017 Penn Health Equity Symposium

Mar. 21, 2017

Penn’s third annual Martin Luther King Jr. Health Equity Symposium featured a keynote address by Antonia Novello, 14th Surgeon General of the United States, who had a hopeful, yet challenging message: “Had Martin Luther King been here today, he would see that we are doing much better, but he would he would still be fighting. He would feel pride, disappointment, sadness, and he would be appalled that blacks and whites are still segregated.”[content_elements:element:0]

Pediatric and Adult Physician Networks in Affordable Care Act Marketplace Plans

Research Brief
Mar. 16, 2017

In a review of ACA plans, the authors find that the proportion of narrow networks were greater for pediatric specialties than for adult specialties, highlighting the need to monitor access to specialty care for children and families.

Insurance Coverage and Access to Care Under the Affordable Care Act

Issue Brief
Dec. 8, 2016

This brief details changes in insurance coverage and access to care under the Affordable Care Act. About 20 million individuals gained coverage under the law and access to care improved.  Despite these gains, more than 27 million individuals are still uninsured, and many others face barriers in accessing care.  As a result of the 2016 elections, the future of the ACA is uncertain.  As the next Administration and policymakers debate further health system reforms, they should consider the scope of the ACA’s effects on their constituents. 

Effect of a Decision Aid on Access to Total Knee Replacement for Black Patients With Osteoarthritis of the Knee: A Randomized Clinical Trial

Research Brief
Dec. 8, 2016

An educational video on the risks and benefits of total knee replacement increased the rate of surgery among black patients, in a clinical trial of an intervention that could reduce known racial disparities in treatment of osteoarthritis.

Health Systems and Social Determinants

Dec. 1, 2016

The election of Donald Trump has ushered in an uncertain future for the Affordable Care Act (ACA), from modification to total repeal. While many policy experts are concerned about people losing the coverage they gained through the ACA, other aspects of the ACA are also under threat: specifically, provisions that address the social determinants of health.

Beyond Books: Public Libraries as Partners for Population Health

Nov. 9, 2016

Anna U. Morgan, Roxanne Dupuis, Bernadette D’Alonzo, Andria Johnson, Amy Graves, Kiahana L. Brooks, Autumn McClintock, Heather Klusaritz, Hillary Bogner, Judith A. Long, David Grande, and Carolyn C. Cannuscio

In Health Affairs, Anna Morgan and colleagues, including Judith Long, David Grande and Carolyn Cannusciodiscuss the importance of public libraries in addressing the social determinants of health and improving population health. The qualitative study describes the work of the Healthy Library Initiative, a partnership between the University of Pennsylvania and the Free Library of Philadelphia, which aims at integrating evidence-based health efforts throughout the Free Library’s fifty-four branches. The authors collected information about the Free Library’s latest...

Recurrent Violent Injury: Magnitude, Risk Factors and Opportunities For Intervention From a Statewide Analysis

Research Brief
Oct. 24, 2016

Recurrent injury is a promising target for prevention, as prior injury is a strong predictor of future violent injury and death. But the incidence of recurrent violent injury, on an area-wide level, is unknown, and the risk factors contributing to it are not well understood. 

Penn Center for Community Health Workers: Step-by-Step Approach to Sustain an Evidence-Based Community Health Worker Intervention at an Academic Medical Center

Sep. 19, 2016

Anna U. Morgan, David T. Grande, Tamala Carter, Judith A. Long, Shreya Kangovi

In the American Journal of Public Health, Anna Morgan and colleagues, including Dave Grande, Judith Long, and Shreya Kangovi, describe the process by which Penn’s Center for Community Health Workers grew from a small grant-funded research project into a robust program serving 2,000 patients annually and funded through the health system’s operational budget. The authors describe an 8-step framework to engage both low-income patients and funders, determine outcomes, and calculate return on investment. The case illustrates a path toward sustainability for other community-based...

Acute Health Care Utilization among Food-Insecure Children in Primary Care Practices

Sep. 13, 2016

Deepak Palakshappa, Saba Khan, Chris Feudtner, and Alexander G. Fiks

In the Journal of Health Care for the Poor and Underserved, Deepak Palakshappa and colleagues, including Chris Feudtner and Alexander Fiks, investigate the relationship between food insecurity and child health care utilization. They test whether differences in child health care utilization can predict household food insecurity and whether food insecurity is associated with subsequent acute health care use. This prospective cohort study involved 3,335 children screened for food insecurity at three-year well-child visits in three urban practices. The authors evaluated acute care use...

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