Health Affairs Request for Abstracts on Disparities for October 2011 Publication

Submissions requirements: Abstract submissions should not exceed 500 words, and should include (in this order): author names and affiliations, proposed title, and abstract (along with contact information for the corresponding author).

If you wish to submit an abstract, please send it as an e-mail attachment directly to executive editor Don Metz, at dmetz@projecthope.org (he can also be reached by phone at 301-347-3907)and to Sarah Dine, deputy editor at sdine@projecthope.org (she can be reached at 301-347- 3931).

Health Affairs plans a cluster of papers on the continuing disparities in health care access and outcomes for minority and vulnerable populations in the United States for October, 2011. The issue is expected to explore many facets of the problems of disparities including progress made since the publication of Unequal Treatment by the Institute of Medicine in 2003. The existence of disparities is obviously a wide-ranging topic, encompassing many sectors of the health care system, as well as the social determinants of health.  The journal hopes to include papers that both illuminate past developments, future demographic trends, and that also feature new understanding on how to move the disparities agenda forward. The journal hopes that the issue will discuss the place of disparities in the ongoing national dialogue about health care systems, health care reform, health policy, personal health, and public health.  This cluster of papers in Health Affairs is generously supported by the Aetna Foundation.

The journal welcomes proposals for papers, analyses, and commentaries for this cluster. As part of its issue development process, the journal has issued a limited request for abstracts, which are due April 25, 2011. The editors will evaluate the abstracts and commission several authors to write papers based on their abstracts, pending the outcome of the evaluation. The editors plan to complete the abstract evaluation process by early May, at which time they will notify authors of abstracts selected for invitation. These invited papers will be due at the journal on June 15, 2011.

Invited papers will then be subjected to peer review in June and July 2011. Papers that the reviewers and editors deem appropriate will be revised and resubmitted in July and August. Copyediting and production for the issue will take place following that, with publication scheduled for early October 2011.

Topics to be covered in the thematic issue, and types of articles to be featured, are as follows:

1. Papers that discuss how our understanding of disparities has changed or evolved in the last decade.

2. Case studies of organizations/systems/groups/states and localities that have put in place interventions that have resulted in the achievement of high quality health outcomes and which have lessened disparities in both access and outcomes. The journal welcomes submissions that will represent a diversity of institutions and approaches.

3. In the sphere of social determinants of health, what are key priorities that the health system can and/or should address?

4. Assessments of public and private initiatives to address disparities.

5. Papers that target often neglected areas in disparities, such as behavioral health and oral/dental health, but not limited to those subjects.

6. Papers that examine health disparities in groups that often get overlooked in analyses of disparities, e.g., Native Americans and individuals with disabilities, and that focus on differences between various populations.

7. The disparities agenda in health professions education.

8. The impact of the Affordable Care Act on addressing disparities.

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