HAP's Latest News

Launching HAP’s Racial Health Equity Learning Action Network

July 27, 2023

Pennsylvania’s hospital community, representatives from government and commercial payors, and other health care stakeholders convened today to kick off HAP’s Racial Health Equity Learning Action Network (RHELAN).

The event builds on recent efforts from HAP and Pennsylvania hospitals to address racial inequities in care and to eliminate health disparities. The kickoff continues a long-term commitment to this vital work. Among the key takeaways from RHELAN’s first virtual session:

  • Background:  RHELAN brings hospitals together to share insights from their racial health equity journey and accelerates learning and action.
    • The program applies a quality improvement lens to equity efforts—with a focus on improving health outcomes for people of color.
  • Payor point of view:  Reducing health disparities starts with a health care system that incentivizes equity and makes it a central part of care. This includes recognizing and rewarding facilities that reduce racial health disparities, implement best practices, and succeed in other quality measures that demonstrate equity.
  • Pandemic’s REaL impact:  COVID-19 has spurred momentum to address racial inequity across health care, including a growing effort to collect Race, Ethnicity, and Language (REaL) data to understand trends at a higher level.
    • Engaging the community and building trust are essential to helping patients understand the need to collect this data.
  • Pennsylvania focus:  HAP continues to collaborate with hospitals to complete the American Hospital Association’s Health Equity Transformational Assessment (HETA). The diagnostic tool helps facilities outline equity activities and additional opportunities to make a difference.
  • Opportunities in design:  Human-centered design focuses on the people at the center of the problem-solving process. Addressing equity starts with teams, patients, organizations, and communities.

HAP thanks our members and our panelists from across the health care spectrum for taking part in this initiative for racial health equity. During October, HAP will host Racial Health Equity Action Day during the opening day of our signature Patient Safety, Quality, and Equity Symposium.

This event will be dedicated to addressing the imperative connection between health equity, patient harm, and patient safety.

For more information about HAP’s RHELAN, contact Jennifer Jordan, vice president, regulatory, behavioral health and equity strategy.