HealthPartners: Closing the Gap in Health Care Disparities (Breast Cancer)

HealthPartners

HealthPartners has made significant progress toward reducing the disparity in breast cancer screening rates between white women and women of color. In 2007, the screening disparity between white women and women of color was nearly 13 percent. Since then, the disparity has closed to an average under 5 percent and, at several HealthPartners clinics, the rates are nearly identical or better in patients of color.


More than ten years ago, HealthPartners began groundbreaking work to close a gap in health care and ensure that care and service is of equally high quality for all populations, regardless of a patient’s race or ethnicity, preferred language, private insurance or public program. To identify and address these disparities, HealthPartners leaders established the Cross Cultural Care and Service Task Force in 2001, and, in 2003, the health system developed a plan to collect self-reported patient demographic data to assist us in creating strategies and tactics to improve care and service for our patients.

Reduction in breast cancer screening disparities for women of color

HealthPartners has made significant progress toward reducing the disparity in breast cancer screening rates between white women and women of color. In 2007, the screening disparity between white women and women of color was nearly 13 percent. Since then, the disparity has closed to an average under 5 percent and, at several HealthPartners clinics, the rates are nearly identical or better in patients of color.

To achieve this, HealthPartners developed customized interventions addressing barriers affecting minority populations to better serve patients. For some women, the extra encouragement from the doctor or care team during a clinic visit made obtaining the screening more likely. HealthPartners responded with a same-day mammography program in which patients overdue for a mammogram are offered the service when at the clinic for some other reason. Other interventions include transportation assistance, telephone outreach and special scripting for providers.

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FOR MORE INFORMATION:

Amy von Walter
Director, Corporate Communications
HealthPartners
8170 33rd Avenue South
Bloomington, MN 55425
tel. 952.883.5274
amy.e.vonwalter@healthpartners.com
www.healthpartners.com