Minnesota health disparities narrowing but still a concern

Published 7:23 pm Wednesday, April 17, 2019

By Mark Zdechlik, Minnesota Public Radio News


Minnesota Community Measurement said people covered through state-run health coverage — Medical Assistance and MinnesotaCare — continue to have significantly worse health measures than Minnesotans with private health insurance or Medicare.

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The health outcome tracking organization’s president, Julie Sonier, said those disparities have been shrinking over time for several measures.

“The gap is narrowing for colorectal cancer screening. It’s narrowing for asthma control for both adults and children, and it’s narrowing for rates of controlling high blood pressure,” Sonier said.

Sonier said the latest report found progress in adolescent mental health screenings for non-English speakers.

“That gap was as high as 35 percentage points within the last couple of years, and it’s been reduced to 12, so I think that’s a really great success story,” Sonier said.

Human Services Commissioner Tony Lourey said the disparities tracking provides valuable information. “The annual disparities report helps highlight the need to continue efforts to advance equity in our state and achieve the goals of One Minnesota,” Lourey said.