December 10, 2022

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Health Care Capsule: Racial and Ethnic Health Disparities

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<div>This capsule draws from a number of GAO reports to describe examples of racial and ethnic health disparities, barriers that may contribute to disparities, and federal efforts to help address them. In this capsule, GAO cites policy considerations and reiterates recommendations to improve gaps in race and ethnicity data. For more information, contact Alyssa M. Hundrup at (202) 512-7114 or HundrupA@gao.gov.</div>

People from various racial and ethnic groups may experience health disparities—preventable differences in health outcomes. Discrimination, economic instability, and lack of health care access are some of the factors that can contribute to these disparities.

Our 2-page “capsule” draws from several GAO reports to provide examples of these health disparities, such as COVID-19, maternal mortality, chronic health conditions, as well as disparities among veterans. We also offer policy considerations to help the federal government better understand health disparities and promote health equity.

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