Most providers aren't ready to meet new health equity regulatory requirements

The majority of healthcare providers and payers are not ready to meet shifting health equity regulatory requirements, according to Ernst & Young's latest report

To compile its "2024 Health Equity Outlook," the accounting firm surveyed 500 health equity leaders across stakeholder industries: providers, payers, life sciences, government, and nonprofit/community organizations. The respondent pool included 64 health systems, 14 physician groups, 11 hospitals, eight academic medical centers and three federally qualified health centers. Nearly 40% of respondents were directors, department leads or the equivalent, while 29% were C-suite executives and 28% were vice presidents. 

Most provider and payer respondents indicated that as of today, they could not meet health equity-related regulatory requirements introduced by CMS, the National Committee for Quality Assurance, The Joint Commission and the FDA last year. The new guidelines are multifaceted — asking hospitals to update various processes from data analytics to the C-suite — and the majority of providers say those upgrades are still a work in progress. 

The three new requirements that the most providers are able to meet today: improved language access (48% can meet this), a designated health equity executive leader (48%) and improved healthcare access (47%). However, the majority of providers are still developing or taking action on a defined plan to ensure future readiness — while a small percentage, 6% or less, report that they have no plan to meet each metric. 

The three new requirements that the fewest providers are prepared to meet today are disparity root cause assessments (21%), culturally tailored services (24%) and social needs referral pathways (27%). And while the majority are working on these efforts, a fraction — between 7% and 9% — say they still have no plan to implement them. 

Although the changes will take time, 64% of all organizations surveyed ranked health equity among their highest priorities, with another 26% placing it somewhere in the middle of their goals. They report shifting focuses in the progression toward health equity; in 2023, availability of providers, insurance coverage and culturally appropriate staffing were top of mind, but in 2024, there's a larger emphasis on reducing health stigmas, mitigating financial barriers and improving language accessibility. 

Healthcare providers stand out as leaders in same-industry health equity collaboration, with 73% saying they collaborate with other providers. They're also the top external partners for payers, life sciences and government organizations looking to make progress toward health equity. 

Read EY's full report here.

Copyright © 2024 Becker's Healthcare. All Rights Reserved. Privacy Policy. Cookie Policy. Linking and Reprinting Policy.


Featured Whitepapers

Featured Webinars