A targeted approach to reducing healthcare disparities


A recent piece in the Harvard Business Review demonstrates how SCAN Health Plan, a not-for-profit, California-based Medicare Advantage plan with over 270,000 members, was able to increase medication adherence among Black and Hispanic beneficiaries. Dr. Sachin Jain, CEO of SCAN, and his colleagues describe how identifying the specific causes of disparities in medication adherence, establishing clear financial incentives for senior leaders, and targeting investments enabled the insurer to reduce disparities by 35 percent within eighteen months. 

The Gist: Addressing complex and longstanding racial health disparities is an incredibly difficult but vital task. While there’s been plenty of discussion about the problem, there’s been a lack of effective solutions for healthcare organizations to deploy.

SCAN’s progress demonstrates how narrowing the focus down to a more specific issue can yield faster results. Jain and his colleagues write that SCAN’s next areas of focus are reducing disparities in diabetes control and flu vaccinations. We’re looking forward to learning about other innovative ways healthcare organizations are tackling long overdue gaps in care.    

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