Dr. Bruce Sherman Examines US Equitable Health Benefit Design



Dr. Bruce Sherman of the North Carolina Business Coalition on Health emphasized that equitable health benefit design is critical to addressing health disparities in the United States. He explained that equitable benefits should provide employees with affordable and accessible healthcare, along with stable work, a fair wage, and professional advancement opportunities. Sherman also highlighted the importance of relationship-centered care in overcoming medical mistrust and implicit bias, particularly among minority and lower income groups, to improve health outcomes and reduce the health equity gap.

In the ongoing conversation about health equity in the US, Bruce Sherman, MD, from the North Carolina Business Coalition on Health emphasizes equitable health benefit design’s critical nature.


How does equitable health benefit design impact health inequities, access to health care, and outcomes in the US?

Most certainly. Equitable benefits include affordable, accessible health care, stable employment, fair wages, and professional advancement opportunities. Specifically, from a health benefit perspective, employees should access care, afford it, and find the benefits relevant to their needs.

Unmet social needs often take precedence over physical health for many employees. So, employers must gauge employees’ needs, ensuring care is not only accessible and affordable but also relevant.

The other key element is relationship-centered care. Medical mistrust and implicit bias, especially in minority and lower-income groups, affect health negatively. Improving health outcomes and narrowing health inequity gaps require trusted and meaningful clinician relationships. This trust can help overcome mistrust and bias, thus enhancing outcomes.

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