Health Equity

Your one-stop shop for health equity resources.

Health Equity

Your one-stop shop for health equity resources.

Health equity is the state in which everyone has a fair and just opportunity to attain their highest level of health. Achieving this requires focused and ongoing societal efforts to address historical and contemporary injustices; overcome economic, social and other obstacles to health and healthcare; and eliminate preventable health disparities.

Demonstrate your commitment to making health equity a priority in your organization or community by exploring the resources below!

Health Literacy

According to Healthy People 2030, personal health literacy is the degree to which individuals have the ability to find, understand, and use information and services to inform health-related decisions and actions for themselves and others. Organizational health literacy is the degree to which organizations equitably enable individuals to find, understand, and use information and services to inform health-related decisions and actions for themselves and others.

Low health literacy is associated with reduced use of preventive services, poorly managed chronic conditions, higher mortality, medication errors, misdiagnoses due to poor communication between providers and patients, low rates of treatment compliance, hospital readmissions, unnecessary emergency room visits, longer hospital stays, fragmented access to care and poor responsiveness to public health emergencies.

Culturally and Linguistically Appropriate Services (CLAS)

The National CLAS Standards describe a framework to deliver services that are culturally and linguistically appropriate and respectful, and that respond to patients’ cultural health beliefs, preferences and communication needs. Standards can be employed by all members of a healthcare organization, state or community. In 2013, the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services Office released the enhanced National CLAS Standards to guide health and healthcare organizations in their efforts to ensure health equity.

CLAS Implementation Guide
Behavioral Health Implementation Guide for CLAS

The Behavioral Health Guide is a companion document to the Blueprint for Advancing and Sustaining CLAS Policy and Practice. Together these documents provide concrete, feasible implementation strategies for the health and behavioral healthcare community to improve the provision of services to all individuals, regardless of race, ethnicity, language, socioeconomic status, and other cultural characteristics. The implementation examples are past grantee examples.

The Behavioral Health Guide is organized by the overarching themes of the 15 standards: Principal Standard;
Governance, Leadership and Workforce; Communication and Language Assistance; and Engagement, Continuous Improvement, and Accountability. Download the guide.

Watch the Advancing Behavioral Health Equity: National CLAS Standards in Action Webinar:

Health Equity Assessment

Use Telligen’s Health Equity Assessment to identify gaps and opportunities to improve health literacy and culturally appropriate health information and services.

Office of Minority Health Newsletters

The Office of Minority Health has launched a newsletter dedicated to raising awareness of culturally and linguistically appropriate services (CLAS) in health and healthcare. Learn how you can advance health equity through CLAS by reading the newsletters today. 

May 2023

July 2023

Tools and Trainings to Advance Health Equity

Explore training opportunities, data resources, interventions and more.




Training Opportunities

Social Drivers of Health (SDOH)

According to Healthy People 2030, social determinants of health (SDOH) are the conditions in the environments where people are born, live, learn, work, play, worship and age that affect a wide range of health, functioning and quality-of-life outcomes and risks.

Social determinants (or drivers) of health in seniors may include income, health literacy, better quality food, housing, transportation, healthcare, social interactions and rural health.

Data Collection Tools

Improving the Collection of Social Determinants of Health (SDOH) Data with ICD-10-CM Z Codes

  • Physicians can include supplemental ICD-10 “Z” codes in the patient’s diagnosis section and problem list, such as codes Z55–Z65, “Persons with potential health hazards related to socioeconomic and psychosocial circumstances.” Although Z codes are not generally reimbursable, including these codes in the medical record can help with population health, panel management, and quality improvement initiatives.15 Data collected may also eventually factor into value-based payment systems that will reimburse family physicians for this critical work to improve health. The data can also be useful in developing innovative solutions and partnerships to address the social driver that most directly affect a population. For example, Community of Hope created partnerships with a mobile farmer’s market as well as a bike-share program to promote healthy eating and exercise not only to the health center patients but also to the community in which the clinic is located.

Several screening instruments can aid physicians in identifying social drivers of health in a primary care setting:

  • The National Association of Community Health Centers’ Protocol for Responding to and Assessing Patients’ Assets, Risks, and Experiences tool (PRAPARE) includes 15 core questions and five supplemental questions. The data can be directly uploaded into many electronic health records as structured data. It is generally administered by clinical or nonclinical staff at the time of the visit, but a paper version can be given to the patient to self-administer.
  • The American Academy of Family Physicians offers a social needs screening tool, available in short- and long-form in English and Spanish, as part of The EveryONE Project. The short-form includes 11 questions and can be self-administered or administered by clinical or nonclinical staff.
  • The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services Accountable Health Communities’ 10-question Health-Related Social Needs Screening Tool (AHC-HRSN) is meant to be self-administered.

Rather than expecting physicians to add “just one more thing” to their daily practice flow, social determinants screening and follow up must not be the sole responsibility of the physician but rather a team-based effort integrated into the practice’s care management workflows.

Adapted from “A Practical Approach to Screening for Social Determinants of Health.”

Health Equity Data

Focus on Rural Health

The factors driving rural health disparities vary widely. According to County Health Rankings, rural counties have higher premature death rates and rank lowest nationally in overall health outcomes. Telligen is supporting the efforts of rural communities across our four states – Colorado, Iowa, Illinois and Oklahoma – to develop local and regional solutions to advance health equity.

Browse resources, research and emerging insights into the many factors that shape rural opportunity, health and advance health equity.

Visit our calendar of events for health equity learning opportunities.

Contact Belinda Rogers or Temaka Williams to learn more about Telligen’s health equity initiatives.

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