National Committee on Vital and Health Statistics (2005) Eliminating Health Disparities: Strengthening Data on Race, Ethnicity, and Primary Language in the United States. Other. UNSPECIFIED.
Compelling evidence exists that differences in health status, access to care, and the provision of physical and mental health services are significantly related to race, ethnicity, primary language, geography, and various measures of socioeconomic position, such as educational status, income, wealth, and conditions in childhood. Efforts to improve health care and eliminate health disparities in the United States are an important element of the Secretary of Health and Human Services 500 Day Plan: Longer, Healthier, and Better Lives (www.os.dhhs.gov/500DayPlan/500DayPlan.pdf). These efforts can succeed only when researchers, policy-makers, health care professionals, and community groups are equipped with complete and accurate data on the differences in health status, access to care, and the provision of services experienced by specific population groups in the U.S. This essential prerequisite for progress has been the focus of hearings and a lengthy review of available information conducted by the National Committee on Vital and Health Statistics (NCVHS) Subcommittee on Populations. The NCVHS is the statutory public advisory body that advises the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) on information needs underlying national health policy. The Committee offers this summary of its findings and recommendations so that the strategies outlined can provide an effective and useful roadmap for future action by HHS and its partnering agencies and organizations within and outside of the Federal government. The recommendations serve as a starting point for productive consultation and discussion in which all stakeholders are engaged in determining the next best steps forward.
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