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Orthop Nurs. 2009 Jul-Aug;28(4):183-6. doi: 10.1097/NOR.0b013e3181b02972.

Health disparities and healthcare reform.

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Department of Health and Community Systems, School of Nursing, Center for Bioethics and Health Law, University of Pittsburgh, Pittsburgh, PA, USA.


Healthcare reform continues to be an issue facing the American people whether they are politicians, healthcare providers, healthcare administrators, or patients and their families. Questions that are being addressed focus on improving access, reducing costs, delivering quality care, and having a more equitable distribution of benefits and burdens. Those persons who experience health disparities are more negatively affected by the current healthcare system, underscoring the need for reform. This article provides insight into some of the historical background and selected ethical concerns relevant to understanding healthcare reform as it relates to health disparities and offers some potential strategies that nurses might use to make a difference in the lives of the disparate groups of patients and families for whom they care.

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