In the Effort to Improve Health Equity, Terminology Matters

The Task Force released an issue brief titled “In the Effort to Improve Health Equity, Terminology Matters” which explores the importance, when addressing health equity, of actors using terminology that is universally agreed upon and understood.  The brief analyses similarities and themes that appear across several common definitions of health equity, as well as expands on the differences between the terms “health disparities” and “health inequities.” The distinction between these terms is important, given that health disparities can exist without fault of the system whereas health inequities are unjust and avoidable differences in care.  

The brief also discusses how health equity can be better achieved by transforming the system away from fee-for-service reimbursement, and toward value-based payment.  

This resource is a follow up to the 2019 Task Force-authored Health Affairs blog, When Talking About Social Determinants, Precision Matters, which offered a framework to describe distinctions in the terms Social Determinants of Health (SDOH), social risk factors, and social needs. 


Read the Issue Brief Here