CMS to Address Health Equity in Medicare

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For the first time, Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) has published a plan to address health equity in Medicare. The plan, developed by the Office of Minority Health, will focus on populations that experience barriers to accessing care and lower quality of care. These include rural residents, Limited English Proficiency (LEP) individuals, racial and ethnic minorities, people with disabilities, and LGBT individuals. The plan aims to reduce health disparities in four years, and focuses on six priorities.

Priority 1:
Expand the Collection, Reporting, and Analysis of Standardized Data

Priority 2: Evaluate Disparities Impacts and Integrate Equity Solutions Across CMS Programs

Priority 3: Develop and Disseminate Promising Approaches to Reduce Health Disparities

Priority 4: Increase the Ability of the Health Care Workforce to Meet the Needs of Vulnerable  Populations

Priority 5: Improve Communication and Language Access for Individuals with Limited English Proficiency and Persons with Disabilities

Priority 6: Increase Physical Accessibility of Health Care Facilities

Advocates working on Medicare issues affecting the identified groups will want to familiarize themselves with the plan and frame requests for specific actions in the context of this broad policy paper.  For more on Justice in Aging’s work on addressing health disparities, please visit our Focus Population page.

See the full plan here.

About Georgia Burke

Georgia directs Justice in Aging’s Oakland Office where she focuses her advocacy on issues affecting people who are dually eligible for Medicare and Medicaid benefits.