Racial bias found in widely used health care algorithm

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Widely used health care algorithm that helps determine which patients need additional attention was found to have a significant racial bias, research says.

“The risk is that biased algorithms end up perpetuating all the biases that we currently have in our health care systems,” said Ziad Obermeyer, an acting associate professor at the Berkeley School of Public Health who was the lead researcher on the study. “It furthers the vicious cycles that we all want to break.”The algorithm used heath costs to predict and rank which patients would benefit the most from additional care designed to help them stay on medications or out of the hospital.

Patients above the 97th percentile were marked as high-risk and automatically enrolled in the health program, yet the black patients had 26.3 percent more chronic health conditions than equally ranked white patients. “We already know that the health care system disproportionately mismanages and mistreats black patients and other people of color,” said Ashish Jha, director of the Harvard Global Health Institute. “If you build those biases into the algorithms and don’t deal with it, you’re going to make those biases more pervasive and more systematic and people won’t even know where they are coming from.”

Optum’s algorithm harbored this undetected bias despite its intentional exclusion of race. This is because inequity is baked into algorithms when they’re built on biased data, Jha said.


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Health care, education, wealth distribution, criminal sentencing, pre- and post-natal care, police response... You'd think that maybe America has a racial bias issue. I've been told that it doesn't. Thank goodness it doesn't.

Not surprised healthcare

This makes you think what if?🤔

Are we pretending that health care needs are identical across races and ethnicities now?

No shit.

Racial or financial?

This is nothing new. People of color and the poor could have told researchers this information. Oh wait, those the opinions of the poor and ppl of color doesn’t count.

Racist Sharpton has been notified


Garbage data in, garbage data out.

NBCBLK The racism news channel strikes again

NBCBLK Maybe MSM should just start telling us what is NOT racist? It would save everyone a lot of time.


Page one of Medicare for All manual

No shit! We as healthcare workers have been SCREAMING that computers and programming have NO PLACE in determining healthcare! But hey, why listen to us? We only work in the field, after all! What do we know! 😠

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