Chartis Top Reads – Week of September 19 - September 25, 2021

Our research team breaks down this week’s top healthcare news.

Top Reads Overview

In an age of unprecedented change, staying current has never been more important. Our team at Chartis is curating news most relevant to the healthcare industry and tracking the topics that are trending on seven key issues: high reliability care, digital and advanced technology, financial sustainability, health disparities, the health ecosystem of the future, partnerships, and the provider enterprise. Each week, we break down what’s happening and why it matters.

Health Disparities

The Buzz This Week

This month, from September 15 to October 15, we celebrate Hispanic Heritage Month, which honors the histories, cultures, and contributions of Americans whose ancestors came from Spain, Mexico, and Latin America. More than 18 percent of the population in the 2020 U.S. census identified as Latino or Hispanic, and the population accounts for over half of the country’s growth in the last 10 years. This month is a vital time to learn about and celebrate the diversity and experiences of U.S. Hispanic populations. It also requires us to examine some of the significant health disparities faced by Hispanic populations in the U.S.

A recently released report by Kaiser Family Foundation based on interviews with 778 Hispanic adults in the U.S. highlights the disparate impacts COVID-19 has had on the population. Even with recent increases in COVID-19 vaccination rates, gaps in rates still continue in the Hispanic population. Additionally, the population identifying as Latinx have faced disproportionate hospitalizations and deaths from COVID. Many disparities that existed prior to COVID, including immigration policies, language barriers, and access to care, were exacerbated during the pandemic and contributed to the disparities in COVID outcomes. The report highlighted that while Hispanic adults have similar employment rates to white adults, over half of Hispanic adults have an annual household income under $40,000, compared to 29 percent for white adults. Hispanic adults under age 65 were more than three times as likely to be uninsured as white adults, and twice as likely compared to Black adults.

Why It Matters

Numerous existing barriers to care are impacting COVID vaccination rates and outcomes from COVID as well as leading to higher rates of certain diseases compared to non-Hispanic whites (i.e., asthma, liver disease, diabetes, and cervical cancer). Two of the most significant structural barriers impacting Hispanic Americans are:

  • Immigrant status: More than 1 in 10 Hispanic Americans chose not to apply or to stop receiving government assistance for fear it would impact their or another family member’s immigration status. COVID vaccines are available free to all, regardless of immigrant status, but many still fear costs or consequences to status.
  • Language: Websites and education materials are not all readily available in the Spanish language. When translations do exist, valuable information, like that the vaccine is free of charge, or clear instructions on how to sign up may not be available. The language barrier may also mean key questions or concerns about the vaccine are not adequately addressed.

It is vital that health literacy and language are considered in the healthcare setting for COVID vaccinations and everyday care. Materials must be crafted in concert with trusted members of the community and highlight all vital details for various populations. Translators must also be available at community vaccination sites and healthcare facilities. In addition to honoring the histories and cultures of our Hispanic citizens during Hispanic Heritage Month, we must truthfully examine disparities and work to change systemic and structural discrimination every month of the year.


    Roger A Ray, MD
    Chief Physician Executive
    [email protected]

    Alexandra Schumm
    Principal, Vice President of Research
    [email protected]

    Abigail Arnold
    Senior Research Manager
    [email protected]

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    Past Top Reads

    Chartis Top Reads - Week of September 19 -… | The Chartis Group