UnitedHealth Group, the nation's largest health insurance company, will begin matching patients with doctors based on their race.
According to UHC, matching patients with doctors of the same race will result in improved clinical outcomes, since same race physicians "often possess deeper knowledge of social determinants affecting their patients."
During a presentation in December, UHC said Black doctors "often understand African American patients' predisposition for colon cancer and pregnancy issues."
It isn't clear who biracial and mixed-race people will be matched with.
The insurance company said matching patients with doctors of the same race will bring down insurance costs and "lead to increased access to care and preventible health measures."
"Consumers would like to establish relationships with physicians who they are comfortable with -physicians of similar backgrounds, life experience, etc," read one slide in the presentation.
Another slide reads: "Clinical evidence shows that consumers benefit from having physicians of same race for diagnosis and treatment of frequently occurring medical conditions."
UHC will begin encouraging doctors to add racial information to their in-network directory profiles to help potential patients choose them based on skin color.
While some Black doctors expressed optimism in the new initiative, some white doctors were offended.
"I don't like it because my race has nothing to do with my abilities," wrote one Caucasian doctor in a "2020 UHC Directory Survey" of doctors.
Another wrote: "This is an invasion of privacy and has no place in a professional setting."
And a third white doctor wrote: "I would refuse."
68 percent of doctors surveyed said they were willing to share their race in a physician directory.