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Supporting Diversity And Equity In The Health Care Workforce

posted by James Swann

on December 1, 2021

Every American deserves affordable, high-quality care and health coverage regardless of health status, race, color, national origin, sex, gender identity, sexual orientation, age, or disability. Health insurance providers are committed to improving health care equity and diversity, and AHIP applauds the Biden Administration’s recent decision to invest $1.5 billion in the National Health Service Corps and Nurse Corps to expand and diversify the health workforce.

The National Health Service Corps and Nurse Corps address workforce shortages and health disparities by providing scholarship and loan repayment funding for health care students and professionals, in exchange for a commitment to work in underserved and vulnerable communities.

Roughly 7% of U.S. physicians are Black or Hispanic/Latino, despite the fact that Black and Hispanic/Latino Americans account for 31% of the total population. Over 25% of physicians serving through the National Health Service Corps identify as Black or Hispanic/Latino. More than 23.6 million patients in the United States receive care from National Health Service Corps and Nurse Corps providers, and the $1.5 billion will support over 22,700 providers committed to working in underserved communities.

This is a seminal moment in the fight for greater diversity, equity, and inclusion in health care. America’s diversity must be reflected at all levels of the health care system, and health insurance providers support solutions that facilitate and incent people of diverse backgrounds to enter the health care workforce, including loan repayment and scholarship programs like the National Health Service Corps and Nurse Corps.

Health insurance providers are working hard to ensure everyone has an equal opportunity to thrive and achieve their best health. We will keep working every day to improve health equity by addressing disparities; removing social barriers to health; and promoting diversity, equity, and inclusion.