A New Strategy to Combat Racial Inequality in American Health Care Delivery
DePaul Journal of Health Care, Vol. 9, 2005
64 Pages Posted: 7 Aug 2007
This article examines the pervasive statistical and anecdotal evidence that racial segregation and discrimination in health care has taken new forms. Replacing the "Whites Only" waiting room signs are more subtle forms of selective geographic placement, insurance cost containment mechanisms and specialty referral patterns that have resulted in highly segregated services and disparate health outcomes for minority vs. majority patients. After a comprehensive review of the literature that describes current racial disparities in health care, the paper examines not just the existence and magnitude of those disparities, but will also consider what factors have contributed to the existence of such a gap. The second section of article confirms that traditional civil rights and litigation tools have limited impact and usefulness in addressing current discriminatory patterns. Instead, the article advocates use of a new and perhaps "radical" application of the civil rights laws, using the Civil False Claims Act to bring federal lawsuits against Medicare participants who discriminate.
Keywords: health disparities, False Claims Act, civil rights in health care
JEL Classification: I18, I38, J71, K32
Suggested Citation: Suggested Citation