Algorithms creating discrimination in the US healthcare system


Researchers looked in nearly 50,000 records of patients.
Algorithm effectively low-balled the health needs of the hospital’s black patients.
Software was designed to predict patients’ future health costs, as a proxy for their health needs.
Algorithm’s bias reduced the proportion of black patients receiving extra help by more than half.
Discriminatory algorithm is used in the care of 70 million patients and developed by an insurance company.
Software was selecting patients likely to cost more in the future—not based on their actual health.
Challenge is to create software which will identify patients with complex care needs.

Software guidance for patients gives privileges to white patients over black patients

Mentioned in this article:

Resource Black Women’s Health Imperative - Advancing health equity and social justice for Black women

Resource Linda Goler Blount - Linda Goler Blount is a president and CEO at Black Women’s Health Imperative

Resource Science Magazine

Resource Ziad Obermeyer - Ziad Obermeyer is an Acting Associate Professor of Health Policy and Management at the UC Berkeley School of Public Health

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