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New study estimates $7 billion economic impact of COVID-19 health disparities in Texas

HOUSTON – Texas’ failure to address race-based inequities in health and health care access is costing the state billions of dollars, according to a new study.

Funded by the Episcopal Health Foundation, a Houston-based non-profit and reported by Altarum, a non-profit research and consulting organization, the study examined the impact of disparities highlighted by COVID-19.

“You see over and over again, that white people have it better than Black and Hispanic people. And that shouldn’t be OK,” said Elena Marks, president and chief executive officer of Episcopal Health Foundation.

According to researchers, differences in health status, disease prevalence and life expectancy by race and ethnicity cost the state of Texas $2.7 billion in excess medical care spending and $5 billion in lost productivity.

“That doesn’t even take into account the human costs, which is the real tragedy here,” Marks said.

Researchers hope the study will motivate policymakers to fund programs they say are necessary to address health disparities in the state.

“We want them to know the real cost is the cost of inaction,” said Dr. Darrell Gaskin, who co-authored the report and is a professor of health policy and director of the Johns Hopkins Center for Health Disparities Solutions.

You can read the full report here:


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