Disparity Impact Strategy


Optimal health requires health equity


Released in April 2011, the HHS Action Plan to Reduce Racial and Ethnic Health Disparities included a Secretarial priority to: "Assess and heighten the impact of all HHS policies, programs, processes, and resource decisions to reduce health disparities. HHS leadership will assure that: Program grantees, as applicable, will be required to submit health disparity impact statements as part of their grant applications."

Policy and Data Drivers

Executive Order 13985 - Advancing Racial Equity and Support for Underserved Communities Through the Federal Government calls for a comprehensive approach to advance equity and for agencies to assess whether, and to what extent, its programs and policies perpetuate systemic barriers to opportunities and benefits for people of color and other underserved groups.

HP 2020 - a health disparity is a health difference that is closely linked with social, economic or environmental disadvantage.

HP 2030 - includes a goal to "eliminate health disparities, achieve health equity, and attain health literacy to improve the health and well-being of all."

DownloadGuidance for Preparing a Disparity Impact Statement
[PDF 280KB]


The HHS Office of Minority Health (OMH) aims to improve minority health, improve the quality of health care that minorities receive and eliminate racial and ethnic health disparities. These efforts include evaluating the effectiveness of activities aimed at reducing health disparities and supporting the local community.

OMH's Disparity Impact Strategy is a comprehensive data-driven approach for identifying and addressing health disparities to promote health equity for racial and ethnic minority populations that:

  1. Creates a strategic focus on health disparities and opportunities for promoting health equity
  2. Uses a data-informed quality improvement approach to address racial and ethnic disparities
  3. Incorporates a health equity lens into grant-making operations

Implementation Highlights

OMH's Disparity Impact Strategy is a cross-cutting effort that reinforces efforts to eliminate health disparities and promote health equity by:

  • Embedding a measurement framework for improving the access, use and outcomes of grant programs into notices of funding opportunity
  • Requiring the submission of disparity impact statements from grant recipients that identify the anticipated program impact on health disparities and related outcomes
  • Using a data-informed quality improvement approach, that incorporates the National Standards for Culturally and Linguistically Appropriate Services in Health and Health Care (National CLAS Standards), to monitor program impact on health disparities

Core Components

  • Disparity Impact Statement

    Documentation submitted by grant recipients that specifies populations of focus and disparate populations that will be involved in program activities, including demographic, cultural and linguistic information for population(s) considered at highest risk for health disparities, and the quality improvement plan designed to address the noted disparities.

  • Quality Improvement to Reduce Disparities

    Differential rates of access, use and outcomes of program activities will be monitored through a quality improvement process to determine progress in addressing identified health disparities and possible needs for corrective activities.

  • National CLAS Standards

    The National CLAS Standards aim to improve health care quality, advance health equity and help eliminate health care disparities by establishing a blueprint for health and health care organizations to implement culturally and linguistically appropriate services.