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New Analysis on the Range of Disparities during COVID-19

September 21, 2020

A new Commonwealth Fund survey into the disparate impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic continues to highlight the long-standing inequities by race, ethnicity, and income. The analysis also shows that the experience of economic hardships and mental health concerns during the pandemic varies by race, gender, and income.

The study analyzed a national representative sample of adults age 18 and older, including oversamples of adults who identified as Black and Latino. Survey highlights include:

  • More than half of Latino and nearly half of Black survey respondents reported experiencing an economic challenge because of the pandemic
  • 39 percent of women reported significant mental health concerns related to COVID-19, 13 percentage points higher than men
  • For people with low income, the rate of mental health concerns was nearly 20 points higher than the rate for people with high income
  • Both Black and Latino respondents reported pandemic-related mental health concerns at a rate of approximately ten points higher than whites

In Pennsylvania, reporting of demographical information, specifically race and ethnicity, remains a challenge. Health care practitioners and laboratories were notified in PA-HAN 495 of the need to include demographic variables. Additional information can be found within HAP’s reminder flyer available at HAP’s COVID-19 resource page.

HAP continues to advocate for policies that address racial disparities and ensure health equity in health care. One avenue of opportunity includes ongoing work with hospitals across the state through regional initiatives to assist members with identifying the best approaches to population health through community health needs assessments, as well as the development of meaningful partnerships.

For more information, contact Robert Shipp, III, HAP’s vice president, population health and clinical affairs.