Black Americans are more likely to get better medical care from black doctors and nurses, research shows.

But hospitals and physician offices trying to intentionally pair the two can face tricky legal questions.

As the nation focuses on disparities in the treatment of black Americans, some activists and politicians are calling for actions to specifically designed to help African Americans get health coverage and receive better-quality medical care — two areas in which they’ve traditionally lagged behind white patients.

The coronavirus pandemic has highlighted the vulnerability of black Americans, who are 3.6 times more likely than whites to die of covid-19. In Atlanta, for example, nearly 80 percent of patients hospitalized with the disease were black, according to a report by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.