peters sb3751 031324SPRINGFIELD – State Senator Mike Simmons passed legislation out of the Senate Public Health Committee on Tuesday that would create a Health Outcomes Review Board to identify and tackle healthcare disparities.

“The findings of the Health Outcomes Review Board will be vital in developing and targeting policy solutions that can improve health outcomes, improve the quality of life for many, reduce health care costs and save lives,” said Simmons (D-Chicago). “We don’t have to accept dismal health outcomes. It’s important to ensure state agencies and health care providers can focus where attention is needed. Identifying care gaps will help us to build a more effective and humane health care system. Whether it’s the unacceptable life expectancy gap for African-American and Latine communities, disparities in quality of health insurance coverage for low-income households, or inadequate access to follow up and specialty care for LGBTQ+ communities, the board will help identify those gaps and recommend improvements.”

Simmons' initiative – Senate Bill 3751 – establishes the Health Outcomes Review Board, overseen by the Illinois Department of Public Health, which will be dedicated to collecting and reporting de-identified health data with a focus on demographic factors like race, ethnicity, sexual orientation, gender identity and languages spoken. These reports will identify disparities in patient health outcomes, develop policy solutions and create steps to reduce health disparities. The recommendations will be shared with state agencies, health care providers, lawmakers and other relevant entities. 

“Through data coordination, analysis and reporting we can identify and address disparities in health care,” said Simmons. “Communities that have not been well-served by our health care systems need us to have a renewed focus to meet the urgency of the issue.” 

Senate Bill 3751 heads to the full Senate for further consideration.