The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services has released an Action Plan for Reducing Racial and Ethnic Health Disparities, along with a companion National Stakeholder Strategy for Achieving Health Equity. The HHS Action Plan is primarily an internal HHS work plan while the National Stakeholder Strategy (formerly known as the HHS Office of Minority Health’s National Partnership for Action to End Health Disparities), is a framework primarily for stakeholders external to HHS (both other federal departments and agencies, state and local governments, and non-governmental stakeholders).
With this first HHS-wide plan, the Department commits to continuously assessing the impact of all policies and programs on racial and ethnic health disparities. It will promote integrated approaches, evidence-based programs and best practices to reduce these disparities. The plan has five goals:
- Goal I: Transform Health Care
- Goal II: Strengthen the Nation’s Health and Human Services Infrastructure and Workforce
- Goal III: Advance the Health, Safety, and Well-Being of the American People
- Goal IV: Advance Scientific Knowledge and Innovation
- Goal V: Increase Efficiency, Transparency, and Accountability of HHS Programs
Although the draft “National Partnership for Action to End Health Disparities” was released by the HHS Office of Minority Health (OMH) fourteen months ago, the good news is that the HHS “Action Plan for Reducing Racial and Ethnic Health Disparities” is now coming directly from the HHS Secretary’s office rather than from OMH, with the clarification that the now-renamed (but essentially unchanged) “National Stakeholder Strategy for Achieving Health Equity” is primarily for non-HHS stakeholders. Below is the executive summary of the National Stakeholder Strategy; the full report and appendices are available from the OMH website.