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Closing the Gap on Health Inequality

By Harvey W. Kaufman, MD, MBA, FCAP

SOURCE: Quest Diagnostics


Although the US healthcare system is the envy of much of the world, it is troubling that persistent and well-documented health disparities still exist between different racial and ethnic populations. But evidence is emerging that as a nation, we are beginning to make inroads into achieving health equity and eliminating health disparities by investing in prevention and wellness. A study conducted by Quest Diagnostics and published in a recent issue of Diabetes Care1 found that people in states that expanded Medicaid under the Affordable Care Act (ACA) are far more likely to be newly diagnosed with diabetes than those in states that elected not to expand the program. Based on an analysis of de-identified test results of 434,288 Americans from Quest’s uniquely large database, we found that diagnoses of newly identified diabetes in Medicaid patients surged 23% in expansion states in the first few months after the ACA went into effect, but increased just 0.4% in those states that opted out of Medicaid expansion during the same time period. 

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KEYWORDS: Health, Quest Diagnostics, Health Inequality

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