PROJECTUnequal Treatment at 20: Accelerating Progress toward Health Care Equity

In 2003, the release of Unequal Treatment: Confronting Racial and Ethnic Disparities in Health Care shocked policymakers and the medical establishment with its finding that racial and ethnic disparities in the quality of health care were “remarkably consistent,” even when factors like socioeconomic status and insurance coverage were taken into account. Despite the attention the report received, the nation has made little progress in the last 20 years toward eliminating health care inequities.

To address this challenge, the Urban Institute is undertaking a program of work to identify areas of promise and progress as well as the barriers that hinder achieving equity in health care. Urban initiated this work by convening a national symposium, Unequal Treatment at 20: Accelerating Progress Toward Health Care Equity, on March 21, 2023. The gathering featured presentations from HHS Secretary Xavier Becerra and over 20 health policymakers, researchers, and individuals with living experience of inequity in health care.

With the guidance of an advisory committee and a community advisory board, Urban commissioned a series of papers to understand where progress can be made and to identify tools that can hold health care professionals, health system administrators, regulators, and others accountable for progress. These publications are informed by discussion and presentations at the symposium and will be published throughout 2023. The goal is to inform future strategies and tools to advance health care equity.

Urban will continue to produce research, webinars, infographics, and other publications to contribute to the evidence base necessary for eliminating health care inequities. As new publications are released, they will be added to this page.

Publications and Events
Research Areas Health and health care Race and equity
Tags Community engagement Health care delivery and payment Health care laws and regulations Health care spending and costs Health care systems and managed care plans Health equity Health insurance Medicaid and the Children’s Health Insurance Program  Public health Racial and ethnic disparities Racial inequities in health Social determinants of health Structural racism
Policy Centers Health Policy Center
Research Methods Community Engagement Resource Center Data analysis Data collection Qualitative data analysis Quantitative data analysis Research methods and data analytics