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LETTERS

We need to do more to include people with disabilities in measure of health care quality

People with intellectual and developmental disabilities joined others receiving COVID-19 vaccinations at the Kirbrae Country Club in Lincoln, R.I., in February.John Tlumacki/Globe Staff

Kudos to James T. Brett for expanding our evolving “collective sensibility” on inequities and discrimination to include people with disabilities (“US can be a world leader on behalf of people with disabilities,” Opinion, Nov. 22). As a health care measurement and reporting organization, we at Massachusetts Health Quality Partners are working with our members to report health care system performance by race, ethnicity, and language, and we’re making important progress. But when it comes to reporting on how the health care system cares for people with disabilities, we have not had similar traction.

People with disabilities represent an estimated 26 percent of the US population, yet there are currently no broad-scale national or statewide efforts to identify these individuals and capture data related to the care they receive. This is a major concern as health care providers and payers often do not have the information they need either to inform the care and accommodations of their disabled patients or to direct improvement efforts.

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The pandemic has shined a harsh light on health disparities. As our awareness of these issues continues to evolve and expand, we must start now to engage with patients, providers, and payers to create a pathway for collecting self-reported disability information from patients. This will enable us to measure and improve the care we provide people with disabilities.

Barbra Rabson

President and CEO

Massachusetts Health Quality Partners

Brighton