Clinical care in Minnesota rebounded in 2021, but racial disparities remain

[Star Tribune, November 07, 2022] Clinical care proved more effective for minorities and traditionally underserved patients in the second year of the pandemic in Minnesota compared to the first.

That finding comes in a new report showing that disparities persisted in the management of diseases such as asthma and diabetes, but the decline in care was fairly uniform across racial and ethnic groups in 2020 — as was the recovery in 2021.

The latest report dispelled a concern that the rebound in scores in 2021 would only be among people with economic means — a group that is disproportionately white, Sonier said.

A forced reliance on telemedicine and virtual visits during the pandemic might have helped, providing easier access to care, particularly to low-income minorities with work, child care or transportation barriers to in-person visits, said Dr. Courtney Jordan Baechler, a preventive cardiologist with Allina Health.

"Telemedicine ... allows you very readily over the phone to up-titrate medications that control your blood pressure, control your blood sugar, control your cholesterol," she said. "These are things we can do very effectively in other ways beside face to face."

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Racial disparities in the quality of clinical care persist in Minnesota, but they didn’t worsen during the COVID-19 pandemic, despite fears that they would. (Star Tribune photo)
Posted on November 07, 2022 in DEI

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