Ways and Means Committee Issues Request for Information on the Misuse of Race Within Clinical Care

Sep 17, 2020
Press Release

WASHINGTON, DC—Today, House Ways and Means Committee Chairman Richard E. Neal (D-MA) announced a Request for Information (RFI) soliciting input on the misuse of race within clinical care. The RFI follows a series of letters that Neal wrote to professional societies requesting details on certain clinical algorithms created by some professional societies and asking for their perspectives on a series of questions related to their medical expertise and solutions to address the concerns.                                    

“Over the past two decades since the landmark National Academy of Medicine report, Unequal Treatment, it has become increasingly clear that race and ethnicity are social constructs, making the root cause of inequities racism, not race,” Chairman Neal wrote in the RFI. “Unfortunately, race has been misinterpreted and misused in clinical care and clinical algorithms to the harm of communities of color…I believe addressing racial equity concerns in clinical algorithms and related health outcomes is an important starting point.”

“I sent out letters on September 3, 2020, to a number of professional societies responsible for creating specific clinical algorithms,” continued Neal. “Based on the inquiries that I received from various organizations who did not specifically receive a letter asking if they too could comment, there is great interest in addressing the misuse of race within clinical care across the health industry. Therefore, in an effort to solicit input and recommendations more broadly on this important issue, I am inviting other organizations and individuals that have interest in or experience working with clinical algorithms to provide comment.”

Submissions should not exceed three pages and can be submitted by email in .pdf or .docx format to: Rural_Urban@mail.house.gov.

The full RFI can be viewed HERE.

A fact sheet on the structural racism in clinical care is available HERE.

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