Meritus Health Reports on Opportunities to Improve Health Equity

Press Releases

Meritus Health is formally researching its opportunities to improve and achieve health equity for all patients by openly releasing its 2020 Health Equity Summary this week. The complete report may be read on this website under About Us, Diversity and Health Equity.

Multiple quality, patient experience and safety measures were analyzed across race, ethnicity and language using data from 2019 and 2020. Quality measures across the health system were analyzed.

Six measures were identified for further investigation. Disparities currently appear to exist in the following ways according to the data collected:

  • Sepsis measurement for evidence based care delivery was 44% higher for white patients compared to black patients
  • Preterm birth rate was 27% higher for black and Hispanic or Latinx patients combined compared to white patients and 50% higher for Spanish-speaking patients compared to English-speaking patients
  • A 36% lower rate of exclusive breast milk feeding while hospitalized for black newborns and Hispanic or Latinx newborns combined compared to white patients
  • Opioids administered to white patients in the emergency department at a higher rate than black patients and Hispanic or Latinx patients combined (21% lower rate of administration for this combined group of patients)
  • A 74% higher chance of poorly controlled diabetes when comparing black patients and Hispanic and Latinx patients combined to white patients
  • Spanish-speaking patients on average spend 11% more time in the emergency department than English-speaking patients.

“To attain health equity, every person must have the opportunity to attain their full health potential, with no one disadvantaged because of social position or other social determinants of health,” says Maulik Joshi, Dr.P.H., president and CEO of Meritus Health. “Following this transparency in reporting, we are launching improvement initiatives with specific goals, accountability measures and timelines to address these disparities and live up to our commitment to foster a culture of diversity, inclusion and health equity.”