Healthcare fails women of color in states across the country

Many states across the country fail women when it comes to healthcare delivery, accessibility and battling chronic disease, specifically women of color, according to a report released by The Alliance for a Just Society.

While states like Massachusetts and Connecticut received all As in the 2014 Women's Health Report Card's three categories--health coverage, access to care and health outcomes--12 states got Ds or Fs in all three categories. Those states included Arkansas, Georgia, Idaho, Indiana, Louisiana, Mississippi, Missouri, Oklahoma, South Carolina, Texas, West Virginia and Wyoming, according to the report.

The report card uses data from federal and privately owned polling centers to examine the number of women who are uninsured, their ability to access quality medical care without unreasonable delays and women's rates of asthma, hypertension, diabetes, sexually transmitted diseases, mental disabilities and other health conditions.

The report also found women of color were more likely to experience negative outcomes and higher incidence of disease. The infant mortality rate among black women was at least 50 percent higher in 33 states, while the diabetes rate for Latino women was at least 50 percent higher in 19 states.

The report recommends actions to improve on women's healthcare delivery, including:

  • Expanding Medicaid in states that have not yet done so

  • Investing in community-based outreach and health coverage enrollment strategies targeted toward low-income women and communities of color

  • Establishing and enforcing strong standards for marketplace health plan provider networks to ensure that all services will be accessible without unreasonable delay

  • Ensuring that all women, regardless of income, have access to the full range of reproductive healthcare and family planning services they need to be healthy

  • Investing in workforce development strategies that expand and diversify states' health workforces with more providers who are women and people of color

  • Easing provider shortages by investing in community health clinics, ensuring appropriate scope of practice rules and creating incentives for new practitioners to locate in previously underserved areas

  • Investing in preventive care and improve chronic disease management for women

  • Improving health data collection focusing on women, with a particular focus on low-income women and women of color

To learn more:
- here's the report