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.