AMCP Partnership Forum: Racial health disparities-a closer look at benefit design

Rebekah Angove, Patient Advocate Foundation
Angela Banks, UnitedHealth Group
Christina Barrington, Priority Health
Maribeth Bettarelli, CVS
Diana Brixner, The University of Utah
Kathryn Brown, Kaiser Permanente
Patrick Campbell, Pharmacy Quality Alliance
Lisa Cashman, LLC
Susmita Chavala, Clinical Policy Development and Drug List Management
Jessica Daw, Sentara Health Plans
Nicole Dawley, Blue Cross and Blue Shield Association
Lynn Deguzman, Kaiser Permanente
Eric Gascho, National Health Council
Fred Goldstein, LLC
Jennifer Graff, National Pharmaceutical Council
Angela Hagan, Humana Incorporated
Dorothy Hoffman, Pfizer
Paul Jeffrey, University of Massachusetts Chan Medical School
Sharon Jhawar, SCAN Health Plan
Stephen Kogut, Univeristy of Rhode Island
David Kountz, Hackensack Meridian Health
Sandra Leal, Tabula Rasa HealthCare
Lisa Le Gette, Cigna
Brian Lehman
Lauren Lyles-Stolz, Washington State Department of Health
Jacquelyn Mcrae, PhRMA
Bhavesh Modi, Healthfirst
Lilian Ndehi, Humana Incorporated
Laura Pizzi, Rutgers University


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.