The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) Office of Minority Health has published this first-ever Equity Plan for Improving Quality in Medicare. The Equity Plan focuses on Medicare populations that experience disproportionately high burdens of disease, lower quality of care, and barriers accessing care. These include racial and ethnic minorities, sexual and gender minorities, people with disabilities, and those living in rural areas. The plan has 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
CMS is planning specific implementation activities to support each of the priorities. The plan was developed in collaboration with NORC at the University of Chicago.