Lieberman Promotes Bill To Reduce Disparities in Minority Health Care
Sen. Joseph Lieberman (D-Conn.) last week discussed legislation that aims to reduce racial and ethnic health disparities by giving care providers incentives to improve quality standards for all patients, the Connecticut Post reports. The legislation, called FairCare, would:
- Establish an HHS grant program to improve data collection and quality and to reduce disparities at hospitals and community health centers;
- Designate high-performing or improving providers as "FairCare Institutions" that would be eligible for higher Medicare payments or additional grant funding; and
- Implement a program that would provide refundable tax credits of up to 50% on doctors' malpractice insurance premiums if they provide at least 60% of their care at FairCare Institutions or serve medically needy populations.
Speaking at a forum on health care disparities co-sponsored by RAND, Lieberman said, "It is clear that we do not have a color-blind health care system. And it is also clear that his unequal treatment is un-American. We cannot tolerate it. Rather, we must understand it, confront it and fix it." He added, "The clues to solving the problems of both medical quality and health care disparities are there, we just have to go find them. FairCare will help us gather crucial information to identify problems and then help finance solutions that will cure them" (Urban, Connecticut Post, 6/27).
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