Fairview clinics are helping to improve disparities in primary care

Reports show signs of progress in closing gaps for low-income and minority patients

Woman seeing her doctor
The independent organization that gathers data to help improve health care in Minnesota has released two reports on progress toward reducing some of the state’s longstanding disparities.

Fairview was highlighted for exceptional performance in reducing health care disparities for both low-income and minority patients.

In the Disparities by Insurance Type report, Fairview was cited as a high performing medical group for low-income patients who get their coverage through Minnesota’s Medical Assistance or MinnesotaCare programs.

Fairview has also done particularly well on six measures in the Disparities by Race, Ethnicity, Language and Country of Origin report:
• Colorectal cancer screening

• Mental health/depression screening for adolescents
• Optimal diabetes care
• Optimal vascular care
• Optimal asthma control for adults
• Optimal asthma control for children

The path to reducing disparities

Overall, this year’s report from Minnesota Community Measurement (MNCM) showed a closing of racial disparities on “process” measures — whether or not doctors ordered appropriate tests or procedures on schedule.

“That goal is supported by standardizing work, so that every patient at every clinic is consistently answering the right questions and undergoing properly scheduled screening — no matter their socio-economic background or insurance payer,” says Val Overton, Fairview’s Vice President of Quality & Safety for Ambulatory Services. “We believe that every Fairview patient deserves the highest quality outcomes possible."

Eric Nelson, President of Primary Care for Fairview, is grateful for the data because understanding the disparities is the first step in addressing them.

“Minnesota is lucky to have an organization like MNCM to hold a mirror up to what quality health care should look like — where the disparities are and how we work toward equity,” Eric says. “But we also have more to do to improve overall medical outcomes and help patients manage chronic illnesses, and we’re committed to making that happen.”

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