Finding Answers Solving Disparities

Discovering What Works -- And What Doesn't -- To Resolve Racial and Ethnic Disparities in Health Care

Finding Answers, a national program of the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation created in 2005, has been testing a variety of quality improvement initiatives to find out what works—and what doesn’t—to eliminate racial and ethnic disparities in health care.

In 2010, Finding Answers became a technical assistance provider to Aligning Forces for Quality (AF4Q), the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation’s signature effort to lift the overall quality of health care in targeted communities, reduce racial and ethnic disparities and provide models for national reform. AF4Q asks the people who get care, give care and pay for care to work together toward common, fundamental objectives to lead to better care.

Eliminating disparities requires action on multiple fronts and Finding Answers will help empower providers, payers and health plans. Because some of the 33 Finding Answers projects will ultimately reduce disparities and some will not, the insights and lessons learned from each of their efforts will provide a solid foundation for developing, executing, adapting and evaluating successful quality improvement initiatives that meet both quality and equity goals. As organizations and communities collect race, ethnicity and language data to identify gaps and inequities in care and to publicly report these findings, Finding Answers is poised to help with tools, resources and best practices to inform disparities reduction efforts and increase their chances of success.

This overview presents highlights from a few Finding Answers programs that are leading the way toward reducing racial and ethnic disparities in their communities. The report includes a map that shows which states currently have projects under way and the location of their project offices.

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