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HHS Refines Survey Standards to Better Highlight Health Disparities

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The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services recently released its final standards for creating more measurements of race, ethnicity, sex, disability status and primary language in order to pinpoint and treat health status disparities.

The standards were made effective Monday.

The standards were redefined as a result of the Affordable Care Act, and will better identify health differences that exist between and within ethnic groups.

“It is our job to get a better understanding of why disparities occur and how to eliminate them,” said HHS Secretary Kathleen Sebelius. “Improving the breadth and quality of our data collection and analysis on key areas, like race, ethnicity, sex, primary language and disability status, is critical to better understanding who we are serving.

“Through these new standards, we are providing a new set of powerful tools to help us achieve our vision of a nation free of disparities in health and health care.”

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