American College Of Surgeons - Inspiring Quality: Highest Standards, Better Outcomes

Committee on Health Care Disparities

ACS Statement: There Is No Quality Without Access

Access to surgical care is impacted by socioeconomic status, age, gender, level of education, race, ethnicity, health care availability, and geographic distance. While insurance status proves to be the most reliable surrogate for prediction of outcome differences, underuse, and delay of surgery, rural location, and limited access to high volume hospitals are additional mechanisms that lead to inequities in surgical outcomes. Despite these factors, several studies have shown that where access to care is equal, outcome disparities become indiscernible.

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Goals of the ACS Committee on Health Care Disparities

  • To determine the metrics and analyses required to accurately assess the magnitude of health care disparities in the various disciplines of surgery.
  • To develop specific strategies for addressing health care disparities in select surgical environments.
  • To promote “best practices” in combating health care disparities in surgery.
  • To help develop resources aimed at major strategic initiatives designed to address the health care disparities in the care of the surgical patient.

Symposium Findings

The NIH-ACS Symposium on Surgical Disparities Research was convened with the goal of setting a national agenda for surgical disparities research. Over the course of two days, more than 60 top-level researchers, surgeon-scientists, and federal leaders reviewed the existing literature and participated in interactive consensus-building exercises.

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Why Optimal Access Matters

Optimal access is the key to quality of care. Read more about why optimal access matters.

Search Relevant Publications

We’ve compiled a comprehensive, searchable literature review of relevant publications past and present, dating back to 2008.