The past 20 years have seen little progress in addressing health care inequity, according to a new report from the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine.

According to the report,

Despite spending the most on health care among high-income countries, the U.S. has some of the worst population health outcomes…  The U.S. health care system is highly influenced by societal factors, and delivers different outcomes for different populations by its very design.  The system’s inadequacies disproportionately affect minoritized populations, with stark racial and ethnic inequities in life expectancy, maternal and infant mortality, and many chronic diseases.

The report goes on to explain that

… racially and ethnically minoritized individuals are significantly less likely to have a usual source of primary care, and during emergency department visits, they experience longer wait times and are assigned less acute triage severity scores. Long-term care facilities serving predominantly racially and ethnically minoritized residents offer fewer clinical services, have lower staffing levels, and have more care deficiency citations.

In addition to documenting continuing health inequities the report offers recommendations to Congress, the Department of Health and Human Services, the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services, the National Institutes of Health to advance health equity in the coming years.

Learn more about these and other findings in the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine’s new report Ending Unequal Treatment:  Strategies to Achieve Equitable Health Care and Optimal Health for All and from this news release introducing the report.