The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) has unveiled its first plan to reduce health disparities among Medicare beneficiaries by addressing social determinants of health.

Medical EquipmentThe plan, produced by CMS’s Office of Minority Health and titled “The CMS Equity Plan for Improving Quality in Medicare,” will seek to improve care for

…Medicare populations that experience disproportionately high burdens of disease, lower quality of care, and barriers to accessing care. These include racial and ethnic minorities, sexual and gender minorities, people with disabilities, and those living in rural areas.

This is the very population served in disproportionate numbers by many of the nation’s private safety-net hospitals.

The program will focus on six priorities:

  • expanding the collection, reporting, and analysis of standardized data
  • evaluating disparity impacts and integrating equity solutions across Medicare programs
  • developing and dissemination promising approaches to reducing health disparities
  • increasing the ability of the health care 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 health care facilities

To learn more about The CMS Equity Plan for Improving Quality in Medicare, see this CMS news release.