Improving Racial and Ethnic Data on Health: Report of a Workshop

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The panel convened the Workshop on Improving Racial and Ethnic Data in Health to review information about current private-sector and state data collection practices in light of existing federal, state, and local regulations, laws, and requirements. The workshop presentations featured the perspectives of data users, health care providers, insurance plan representatives, state and local public health officials, and regulatory officials. Participants assessed policies, practices, barriers, and opportunities for collecting racial and ethnic data in their settings, and explored ways that private and state systems can be improved to address data needs. In preparation for the workshop, the panel commissioned four background papers to fill gaps in knowledge of private-sector and state government policies and practices and to address the importance of racial and ethnic data collection. The panel is also examining the role of socioeconomic status regarding health and health care disparities. However, the workshop intended to focus only on racial and ethnic data collection. The panel's final report will contain a full consideration of the collection of racial, ethnic, and socioeconomic status data.

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