Children who are from racial and ethnic minority groups, are of low income, or are both are affected disproportionately by asthma. Despite advances in the treatment and management of asthma, including the development of guidelines for clinical practice, substantial racial, ethnic, and socioeconomic disparities exist in both health care quality and health outcomes. Financial incentives generally have the potential to improve overall quality and, when targeted specifically toward disparity reduction, may be able to help close the quality gap. For this strategy to succeed, however, efforts must be made to eliminate fundamental access barriers created by uneven, unstable, and seriously constrained health care financing for low-income children.
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