Market Overview

The Root Cause Coalition Unveils New Health Equity Report


WASHINGTON, Feb. 26, 2020 /PRNewswire/ -- The Root Cause Coalition, representing 77 organizations from the health care, social services, education and business sectors that are committed to achieving health equity for all Americans, today unveiled its new 2020 Status of Health Equity Report, which highlights eight actionable steps that should be implemented by 2025 in order to improve the nation's health equity.

The Root Cause Coalition: Achieving Health Equity Through Cross-Sector Collaboration

"Our report highlights the growing commitment by individuals, organizations, and communities to reverse and end the systemic root causes of health inequities," said Barbara J. Petee, Executive Director of The Root Cause Coalition. "At all levels, communities are prioritizing social determinants and finding ways to create a more cost-effective healthcare delivery framework that addresses localities' unique populations. Yet there is still a great deal of work to be done. The important findings and recommendations of this report will help create a roadmap for meaningful change."

The Coalition's Status of Health Equity Report, which examines both the progress and the gaps in addressing the health disparities and socioeconomic factors impacting the health and well-being of individuals and communities, was rolled out at a Washington, D.C. event that featured a discussion of the recommended strategies to improve health equity.

Based on dozens of interviews with Coalition members across the country and a national online survey of primary health care providers (including physicians, nurse practitioners and physician assistants), the Status of Health Equity Report outlined eight steps designed to ensure all sectors prioritize health equity in their operations:

  1. Reform payment processes – Payment reform should include methods and processes to ensure payment to care providers for demonstrated value related to addressing health inequity as a result of social determinants of health. Develop reimbursement models from Medicare and Medicaid.
  2. Create a standardized integrated health benefits technology platform – Connect patients, providers, payors, and community organizations through this platform to consolidate fragmented programs and services into an integrated network.
  3. Increase health plans/systems that focus on health inequity – Increase by 50 percent the number of commercial health plans and health systems nationally that embed social determinants of health and health inequities goals into their strategic plans, programs, and services.
  4. Strengthen education and training of providers – In all medical and clinical education programs nationwide, create a more robust system of educating and training providers about health equity, the role health care providers play in addressing these issues, and how to effectively integrate that role into their current practice.
  5. Establish a national target for healthcare expenditures – Set a target percentage of the GDP.
  6. Develop a plan to address health care deficits – Develop a comprehensive plan to address the nation's deficits in infant mortality, mental health services, and substance abuse disorders.
  7. Strengthen education at health care organizations and corporations – On a national basis, encourage the need to change ongoing education among board members, leaders, and employees related to racial equity and cultural competency issues within the workplace.
  8. Improve metrics for measuring outcomes – Establish clearer, standardized metrics for measuring health outcomes related to racial disparities and the social determinants of health.

"In its examination of the underlying socioeconomic factors that influence health and well-being, today's report also reminds us of a very simple reality: where you live – what we call your zip code DNA or 'ZNA' – matters," says Randy Oostra, President and CEO of ProMedica and Chair of The Root Cause Coalition Board. "As national health care costs continue to rise, we've outlined a bold Call to Action to improve our nation's health care delivery model through addressing social determinants, engaging in community partnerships and striving for greater cultural competency.

"Factors such as the lack of low-cost housing, access to affordable, nutritious food and transportation, as well as isolation and economic instability, all hinder health and well-being along with economic mobility," he said. "The solution to creating a healthier society does not rest on the shoulders of one sector, but requires all sectors – business, social services, health care, government, education and more – to work collaboratively."

Cross-sector industry leaders attending the event for a discussion of the report and its recommendations included Randy Oostra, President and CEO of ProMedica; Lisa Marsh Ryerson, President of AARP Foundation; Leigh Caswell, Vice President of Community Health for Presbyterian Healthcare Services; Julia Ryan, Vice President of Health Initiatives for Local Initiatives Support Corporation; and Barbara Petee, Executive Director of The Root Cause Coalition.

The Root Cause Coalition is a non-profit, member-driven organization comprised of 77 leading health systems, hospital associations, foundations, businesses, national and community nonprofits, health insurers, academic institutions, and policy centers. The Coalition works to achieve health equity through cross-sector collaboration in advocacy, education, and research. In support of this mission, the Coalition seeks to uphold its four core values: Focusing on Community Change, Advancing Authentic Collaboration, Scaling Innovative Solutions, and Engaging and Learning from Communities. Learn more at and @RootCauseCo

Press Contact: Ryan Shucard,

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SOURCE The Root Cause Coalition

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