SHADAC Expertise

Health Equity and Social Determinants

Health Equity and Social Determinants

Health equity and social determinants of health (SDOH) are rapidly growing fields of public health research. The former measures an individual or group’s access to fair and unbiased and disparities between this reasonable access among different groups. Social determinants of health are the conditions (e.g., economic, social, environmental, etc.) that affect individual, group, or population health status and outcomes and differences therein.

SHADAC’s approach to health equity work includes projects that examine categories of social determinants such as access to care, cost of care, and quality of care by breakdowns such as race/ethnicity, education level, and economic breakdowns for individual or multiple state populations. Additionally, our researchers have focused on developing resources for states to measure health equity data, resources on how to use federal survey data to better understand and address SDOH and equity issues, and producing new equity and SDOH measures on our State Health Compare data tool.

Relevant SHADAC work:

Expert Perspective: States’ Reporting of COVID-19 Health Equity Data
States’ Reporting of COVID-19 Health Equity Data looks in depth at which states are reporting data on the impacts of COVID-19 on vulnerable populations, including communities of color, low-income populations, and residents of congregate living facilities. Also included are interactive maps that explore the extent to which states are reporting data breakdowns by age, gender, race, ethnicity, and locational levels (ZIP code), group residence type, and for health care workers.

Affordability and Access to Care in 2018: Examining Racial and Educational Inequities across the United States
As health care costs and health care spending continue their simultaneous rise across the United States, record numbers of Americans are reporting either delaying or skipping needed medical care due to cost. An updated SHADAC study—building on a previous analysis from our “Measures that Matter” series using estimates from two data sets on SHADAC’s State Health Compare—examines issues of affordability and access to care across the U.S. in 2018, with a focus on racial and educational inequities.

Leveraging American Community Survey (ACS) Data to Address Social Determinants of Health and Advance Health Equity
In this issue brief for the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation’s State Health and Value Strategies, SHADAC explores how researchers, policymakers, and state Medicaid programs can use data from the American Community Survey (ACS) to inform and target interventions that seek to address social determinants of health (SDOH) and advance health equity. The brief also provides examples of states that use social determinants of health and health equity measures from the ACS, including which measures are used and what they are used for.

Latino Children in California Face Inequitable Access to Care
Despite representing more than half of children living in California, Latino children are less likely than white children to: have health insurance coverage, have insurance benefits that meet their needs, find their health care costs reasonable, have a usual source of care, and have had a preventive medical visit in the last twelve months. The infographic presented here illustrates the 2016 NSCH estimates for these measures for both Latino and white children and also compares California’s performance to other states on the percentage of Latino children who have a usual source of care.