CMS unveils equity plan for Medicare: 5 things to know

CMS has released its first-ever plan to address health equity in Medicare in honor of two major anniversaries: the 50th anniversary of Medicare and Medicaid and the 30th anniversary of the Report of the Secretary's Task Force on Black and Minority Health, or the Heckler Report.

"As we strive to create a healthcare system that provides better care, spends dollars more wisely and creates healthier people, CMS is committed to achieving equity for minority and other underserved populations and eliminating health disparities among Medicare beneficiaries," said CMS Acting Administrator Andy Slavitt.

Highlighted below are five things to know about the CMS Equity Plan for Improving Quality in Medicare.

1. The plan was released at a conference in Baltimore, entitled Medicare & Medicaid at 50: Their Past, Present, and Future Impact on Health Equity. The conference featured speakers and panels that examined how underserved populations have fared since the first national report on health disparities was authored.

2. The CMS Equity Plan aims to reduce health disparities in four years. To assess and document the plan's progress in improving equity in Medicare quality, CMS will design a robust evaluation process that will be tailored to the priorities and specific activities implemented in the plan.

3. The plan highlights Medicare populations that experience disproportionately high burdens of disease, lower quality of care and barriers accessing care, including racial and ethnic minorities, sexual and gender minorities, people with disabilities and those living in rural areas.

4. CMS developed the priorities and activities described in the plan over a rigorous year-long period. CMS worked in collaboration with the independent research organization NORC at the University of Chicago.

5. The action-oriented plan focuses on the following six priority areas:

  • Expanding the collection, reporting and analysis of standardized data
  • Evaluating disparities effects and integrate equity solutions across CMS programs
  • Developing and disseminating promising approaches to reduce health disparities
  • Increasing the ability of the healthcare workforce to meet the needs of vulnerable populations
  • Improving communication and language access for individuals with limited English proficiency and persons with disabilities
  • Increasing physical accessibility of healthcare facilities

To read the full CMS Equity Plan for Improving Quality in Medicare, click here

 

 

 

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Transgender discrimination in healthcare settings results in adverse outcomes, report finds
6 challenges, gains in minority health
APHA to host webinar series on racism's impact on health disparities

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