AMCP Partnership Forum: Racial health disparities-a closer look at benefit design
As part of its stand against racial injustice and its commitment to action, AMCP dedicated a partnership forum to discussion of potential sources of racial health disparities and inequities in benefit design because these are primary drivers of medication use. This forum, held virtually March 23-24, 2021, convened more than 40 experts representing key stakeholders from managed care settings. Key principles that emerged from the forum discussion as means to mitigate racial health disparities were to acknowledge that structural racism exists and that it can impact the provision of health care, including but not limited to formulary development and benefit design processes; to integrate proactive strategies to improve equity, beginning with education and training, into all aspects of health care; and to view patients holistically with an understanding of the compounding effect of social determinants of health on their personal wellness. With these principles in mind, participants highlighted several priority considerations including improving existing gaps in data, addressing diversity and equity as they relate to formulary development, evaluating systems such as benefit offerings through a lens of increasing equity, recognizing cost-related factors that affect equity, considering patients' interactions with and their ability to access the system, and committing to patient-centered care. Participants also suggested areas for policy-related focus and noted the need to develop and deploy specific education and training.