Widespread health disparities persisted across racial, ethnic, gender, geographic and educational lines before the COVID-19 pandemic, according to the United Health Foundation’s inaugural America’s Health Rankings Health Disparities Report. The breadth, depth and persistence of disparities, across multiple factors, is indicative of the work ahead to achieve more equitable health outcomes. The release of the report is part of UnitedHealth Group’s ongoing commitment to advance health equity, including the efforts described in the recently released 2020 UnitedHealth Group Sustainability Report.
Building on 31 years of data and reporting from America’s Health Rankings, the Health Disparities Report provides objective data documenting the constant and changing contours of disparities for the nation, each of the 50 states and the District of Columbia. The report’s findings underscore the broad and deep nature of health disparities, while documenting their persistence over time, despite progress in some areas.
In addition to national findings, the America’s Health Rankings Health Disparities Report includes state highlights where progress has been made and challenges persist, allowing local health officials and policymakers to better focus their efforts.
"Race and ethnicity, gender, geography, educational attainment and income level should not limit one’s access to health care, or the determinants and outcomes that contribute to our overall well-being. Our 330,000 team members are dedicated to addressing health disparities and closing gaps in care for the most vulnerable populations."
Dr. Rhonda Randall Chief Medical Officer, UnitedHealthcare Employer and Individual
The report provides a comprehensive, portrait of the breadth, depth and persistence of disparities in population health over time, in an effort to spark meaningful dialogue and action to advance health equity. Importantly, the report focuses on pre-pandemic data, providing an in-depth baseline measure of the magnitude of health disparities.
“The America’s Health Rankings Health Disparities Report provides a unique, data-driven analysis that identifies disparities not only according to race and ethnicity, but also gender, geography and education level. Through new analyses, this report provides public health officials and lawmakers with state-specific findings on their state’s largest disparities so they can plan better strategies to address them,” said Judy Monroe, MD, president and CEO, CDC Foundation.