Materials & News

HHS’s We Can Do This: Increase COVID-19 Vaccine Confidence

HHS’s National Volunteer COVID-19 Community Corps Initiative As part of the “We Can Do This” campaign, HHS is working to increase public confidence in and uptake of COVID-19 vaccines. The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) launched a national campaign, We Can Do This, to increase uptake of COVID-19 vaccines while reinforcing basic prevention …

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CDC: How to Enroll as a COVID-19 Vaccinator

CDC’s new web page reviews information and training on how to enroll as a COVID-19 vaccinator CDC posted a new web page, How to Enroll as a Healthcare Provider, for providers seeking to become COVID-19 vaccinators. This web page contains the information on how to become a COVID-19 vaccinator, and the training and resources available to …

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Health Equity Updates: April Newsletter

Check out the latest health equity news, health observances, events, and resources supporting the IPRO QIN-QIO efforts to eliminate health disparities for Medicare beneficiaries. What’s inside? April: National Minority Health Month Large Federal Investments to Build Vaccine Confidence and Uptake Hospitalized Black Patients at Higher Risk for Poor Safety Outcomes Updating Health Literacy for Health …

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FDA Encourages Americans to Dispose of Unused Prescription Opioids Safely

More than 100 Americans die every day from an opioid overdose, and millions are addicted to opioids. Proper disposal of unused or expired opioids can help save lives. Remove the Risk The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) launched Remove the Risk, an education and outreach campaign to raise awareness about the serious risks of keeping …

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How can I improve my sleep hygiene?

One of the most important sleep hygiene practices is to spend an appropriate amount of time asleep in bed, not too little or too excessive. Sleep needs vary across ages and are especially impacted by lifestyle and health. However, there are recommendations that can guide how much sleep you need generally. Other good sleep hygiene …

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U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development: Older Adults Home Modification Grant Program

Grant Opportunity: FR-6400-N-69 Application deadline: May 4, 2021 The U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) Office of Lead Hazard Control and Healthy Homes announced $30 million in grant funds and training resources to non-federal entities to establish the Older Adults Home Modification Grant Program. The grant program will assist experienced nonprofits, state and local …

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New CMS OMH COVID-19 Vaccine Resources for Vulnerable Populations Webpage

The COVID-19 pandemic has disproportionately impacted minority and vulnerable populations. The COVID-19 vaccine can reduce the spread of the virus and help end the public health emergency. Community partners working with racial and ethnic minorities, people with disabilities, people with limited English proficiency, sexual and gender minorities, and rural populations are critical in helping consumers …

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March is National Kidney Month

March is National Kidney Month, a time to raise awareness about kidney disease. This year’s focus is on taking charge of your health and the many factors that go into managing your kidney disease. Learn more about Medicare’s coverage of kidney dialysis and kidney transplant services: Medicare.gov: I have End-Stage Renal Disease Medicare Coverage of …

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CDC Celebrates Women’s History Month

Women’s Role in Health Literacy March is Women’s History Month, a perfect time to highlight Dr. Ruth Parker. Not only is she nationally recognized for her health literacy research, teaching, and advocacy, but she’s a professor of medicine at the Emory University School of Medicine and a professor of epidemiology at the Emory University Rollins …

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Drop in Life Expectancy, Vaccine Access & Devastating Winter Storm

Check out the March Population Health Spotlight newsletter from the National Institute for Health Care Management (NIHCM) Foundation In this edition, learn more about the latest news and resources on COVID-19, including the drop in life expectancy, vaccine access and the impact of new variants, as well as new initiatives for supporting vulnerable communities. Highlights …

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CMS Resources for the Emergency Preparedness Rule

The COVID-19 pandemic highlights the importance of updated emergency response plans. The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) compiled a list of resources to assist state survey agencies; state, tribal, regional and local emergency management partners; and healthcare providers in developing emergency plans that are compliant with the CMS Emergency Preparedness Rule. Highlighted Resources …

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Million Hearts® and CDC COVID-19 and Cardiovascular Disease Partner Toolkit

A year of missed preventive care is endangering minority communities. And people with serious heart conditions are at higher risk for severe illness with COVID-19. In response, Million Hearts® and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) developed a digital media toolkit to encourage people to continue their preventive cardiovascular care. The Toolkit includes: …

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National Nutrition Month

Each March, we celebrate National Nutrition Month. It’s a great time to discover and make informed food choices. Health eating can mean different things as we age. We need fewer calories, and are ability to absorb certain nutrients is reduced, especially among those with chronic health conditions. That means it’s important to choose foods that …

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Patient Safety Awareness Week: March 14–20, 2021

Patient Safety Awareness Week both acknowledges and celebrates improved safety and care practices throughout all healthcare settings. Medical errors are the third leading cause of death in the United States. The World Health Organization estimates that health care errors impact one in every 10 patients globally. We are part of a national effort working to …

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Encouraging Improved Patient Safety Practices and Celebrating Successes

Patient Safety Awareness Week is March 14–20, 2021 Patient Safety Awareness Week both acknowledges and celebrates improved safety and care throughout the health system. Medical errors are the third leading cause of death in the United States. The World Health Organization estimates that health care errors impact one in every 10 patients globally. We are …

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Highlighting Health Disparities During American Heart Month and Black History Month

Join the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services Office of Minority Health (CMS OMH) this February as it recognizes American Heart Month and Black History Month by helping those affected by heart disease take steps toward better health. Heart disease is the leading cause of death for people of most racial and ethnic groups in …

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African American History Month

February is African American History Month, which sheds light on African American culture and health. Heart disease, diabetes, and stroke affect people of all ethnicities. However, certain groups—including African Americans and older individuals—are at greater risk. Knowing more about family health histories and the early detection of predisposed health conditions helps support prevention efforts, effective …

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Health Equity Updates: February Newsletter

Check out the latest health equity news, health observances, events, and resources supporting the IPRO QIN-QIO efforts to eliminate health disparities for Medicare beneficiaries. What’s inside? Biden Takes Action to Advance Racial Equity & Support Underserved Communities HHS Proposed Modification to HIPAA Privacy Rule will Help Address SDOH Large Majority of Doctors Hold Misconceptions about …

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Cultural and Linguistic Competency Toolbox

This Learning Toolbox focuses on cultural and linguistic competency and their importance for helping to eliminate disparities in the delivery of quality healthcare.  The Toolbox includes a quick primer, and provides useful links to articles, tools, and resources. Quick Primer What is cultural and linguistic competency? Cultural and linguistic competency in healthcare refers to the …

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Health Literacy Toolbox

This Learning Toolbox focuses on health literacy as an important determinant of health equity and outcomes.  It includes a quick primer on health literacy, and provides links to articles, tools, and resources to improve the health literacy of organizations and patients. Quick Primer What is health literacy? Health literacy is commonly defined as “the degree …

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Health Equity Updates: January Newsletter

Check out the latest health equity news, health observances, events, and resources supporting the IPRO QIN-QIO efforts to eliminate health disparities for Medicare beneficiaries. What’s inside? AHRQ 2019 National Healthcare Quality and Disparities Report HHS OMH Announces New Initiative to Address Hypertension New E&M Coding Guidelines Account for Patients’ Social Risks New CMS Organ Donation …

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Glaucoma Awareness Month: January 2021

This monthly health observance highlights the importance of educating others on glaucoma. According to the National Eye Institute, over three million people in the United States have glaucoma. This number is projected to reach 4.2 million by 2030 – a 58% increase. As we age, we are at greater risk for developing eye diseases. The …

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CDC Immunization Courses: Webcasts and Self Study

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) created a new web-on-demand, self-paced training module for healthcare providers who will be administering Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine. This module will provide information on storage, handling, preparation, administration, and documentation of the Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine. Continuing education will be available for this module. For more information, go to …

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Fall and Slip Prevention: Winter 2020-2021

With winter weather comes messy walkways and debris. Add in health conditions and you’ve got yourself one hazardous situation. These conditions lead to loss of balance, mobility, and strength for seniors. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) reports that every second of every day, an older adult (age 65+) suffers a fall in …

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It’s Not Too Late to Get the Flu Shot

It’s more important than ever for everyone to do their part to help prevent the spread of illnesses like the flu. Because of the COVID-19 pandemic, fewer people are getting vaccines which puts their communities at greater risk for other preventable diseases, like the flu. When people get the flu shot, it helps protect them and …

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Health Equity Updates: December Newsletter

Check out the latest health equity news, health observances, events, and resources supporting the IPRO QIN-QIO efforts to eliminate health disparities for Medicare beneficiaries. What’s inside? Mapping Racial and Ethnic Inequities in Health and Opportunity Mobile Apps for mHealth and People with Disabilities Health Literacy as a Social Driver of Poor Health Outcomes Whole-of-Government Response …

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2019 National and State HAI Progress Report: HAI Prevention Possible

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) published the 2019 National and State Healthcare-Associated Infections (HAI) Progress Report. The report shows that the U.S. has continued to make significant reductions in several types of HAIs – notably, about an 18% decrease in hospital onset Clostridioides difficile (C. difficile) infections in acute care hospitals — …

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Report: The State of Obesity 2020

According to a report from Trust for America’s Health, the U.S. obesity rate for adults reached 42.4% in 2020, the highest ever recorded, and is based on data from the 2017-2018 National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey (NHANES). The report notes that the national obesity rate has increased by 26% since 2008. Food insecurity due …

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Report: 20% of COVID Patients Develop Mental Health Issues

A new report published November in the Lancet found that those who have had COVID-19 are likely to develop anxiety, depression, insomnia, and post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) within 90 days of recovery. The lack of contact with family members and loved ones during quarantine and hospital stays can produce psychological instability. Reports of PTSD symptoms …

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Policy Statement: AHA Recognizes Structural Racism as a Driver of Health Disparities

The American Heart Association (AHA) recently issued a policy statement in Circulation calling out structural racism as a major driver of health disparities in the U.S. The AHA acknowledged that while it had previously published statements addressing cardiovascular and cerebrovascular risk and disparities among racial and ethnic groups in the U.S., those statements had not …

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Article: Whole-of-Government Response to Homelessness in the U.S.

A report by the United States Interagency Council on Homelessness (USICH) states that despite significant increases in funding and beds, overall homelessness has been increasing in the U.S. In just five years (2014-2019), unsheltered homelessness increased by 20.5%, and has become a national crisis. In 2020, Congress appropriated over $6.6 billion for targeted homelessness assistance …

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Article: Health Literacy Should Be Valued as a Social Driver of Poor Health Outcomes

Health literacy is the ability to understand and effectively use health information to make decisions about one’s health. People with low health literacy have increased mortality, worse health outcomes, are less engaged in their care, use the emergency room more often, and have higher avoidable healthcare expenditures. In this article, Lisa Fitzpatrick, MD – a …

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Resource: CMS Home and Community-Based Services Toolkit

The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) launched a new toolkit designed for state Medicaid agencies to strengthen infrastructure and develop robust home and community-based services (HCBS) for eligible beneficiaries. The toolkit highlights promising state models and practices for strengthening state infrastructure to increase transitions from institutional settings to community-based settings; prevent or delay …

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Article: Mobile Apps for mHealth and People with Disabilities

A conference paper presented at the International Conference on Computers Helping People describes data and analysis on the use and unmet needs of mHealth mobile apps by people with disabilities in the U.S. The paper focuses on several key areas related to user experience in order to map the behavior, interests and needs of people …

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New Tool: Mapping Racial and Ethnic Inequities in Health and Opportunity

A new interactive mapping tool, published in the New England Journal of Medicine, allows users to view and compare data on a range of indicators for each state and for six racial and ethnic groups. The tool uses data aggregated by the Health Opportunity and Equity (HOPE) Initiative. According to their website, HOPE “provides an …

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National Handwashing Awareness Week: December 6-12, 2020

Clean hands save lives! This awareness week highlights the importance of handwashing—one of the most effective and simple ways to prevent viral infections and improve health outcomes. December is a busy time for most people. Between the abrupt changes in weather, holiday gatherings, and the end-of-year rush, it is easy for immune systems to be …

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National Influenza Vaccination Week: December 6-12, 2020

This national awareness week focuses on highlighting the importance of influenza vaccination. The IPRO QIN-QIO raises awareness about flu risks and encourages everyone to protect themselves and their communities by getting vaccinated—especially during the COVID-19 pandemic. The Centers of Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) estimates that during last year’s (2018-19) flu season: 35.5 million people …

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Supporting Healthy Minds for Wisdom Keepers

About 1 in every 3 American Indian/Alaska Native older adults, age 65 or older, is at risk for dementia. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, heart health is closely connected to brain health. Wisdom Keeper Campaign To raise awareness about dementia and encourage elders to keep their minds and hearts healthy, the …

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Reducing Loneliness for Nursing Home Residents

As the pandemic continues, the behavioral health of nursing home residents continues to be a concern. A new survey of nursing home residents by Altarum looked into how residents’ lives changed due to the pandemic. The survey found social interactions inside and outside of nursing homes have dropped sharply. More than half of the respondents …

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Earn Free CE: CDC’s Online Antibiotic Stewardship Training

This U.S. Antibiotic Awareness Week, register for CDC’s FREE online antibiotic stewardship training course, which offers 10 hours of continuing education (CE) to help you improve antibiotic use and protect patients. The first module is now updated with the latest national antibiotic resistance data from CDC’s recently released report, Antibiotic Resistance Threats in the United …

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CMS to Celebrate the Power of Rural

Rural communities face their own unique challenges when it comes to accessing and receiving quality health care. Approximately 60 million Americans live in rural areas, with nearly every state having at least one rural county. Research has shown that rural Americans are disproportionately affected by certain health conditions compared to their urban counterparts due to factors …

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New infection control and PPE resources for home and congregate care workers

Betsy Lehman Center for Patient Safety released a new video and suite of resources about infection control and PPE for home care and congregate care workers on the front lines of COVID-19. Stay Safe! Your Guide to Wearing Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) is available in English, Spanish, Haitian Creole and Brazilian Portuguese. We know that …

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Rapid eMOLST Implementation to Facilitate Advance Care Planning During COVID-19 Pandemic

The article Rapid Implementation of eMOLST Order Completion and Electronic Registry to Facilitate Advance Care Planning: MOLST Documentation Using Telehealth in the Covid-19 Pandemic was posted on the New England Journal of Medicine Catalyst on Tuesday November 3. The article discusses seven lessons learned during the rapid implementation of eMOLST at Mount Sinai Health System …

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U.S. Antibiotic Awareness Week: November 18-24, 2020

This annual observance highlights necessary steps everyone should take to improve antibiotic prescribing and use. Antibiotics save lives, but any time antibiotics are used, they can cause side effects and lead to antibiotic resistance. In U.S. doctors’ offices and emergency departments, at least 47 million antibiotic prescriptions each year are unnecessary, which makes improving antibiotic …

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Know the connection between Diabetes and Kidney Disease

34 million Americans have diabetes, and 1 in 3 of them also has chronic kidney disease. Once your kidneys have been damaged by diabetes, they cannot be cured. November is National Diabetes Awareness Month and today is World Diabetes Day, making now the perfect time to learn how you can prevent diabetic kidney disease or …

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Understanding the Pharmacy Partnership for Long-Term Care Program

The Pharmacy Partnership for Long-term Care (LTC) Program provides end-to-end management of the COVID-19 vaccination process, including cold chain management, on-site vaccinations, and fulfillment of reporting requirements. The program facilitates safe vaccination of this patient population, while reducing burden on long-term care facilities (LTCFs) and jurisdictional health departments.   LTCF staff who have not received COVID-19 …

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COVID-19 Vaccine Codes and PC-ACE Software Update

In anticipation of the availability of a vaccine(s), for the novel coronavirus (SARS-CoV-2) in response to the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19), the American Medical Association (AMA), working with the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS), created new codes for the vaccine and the administration of the vaccine.  To prepare for the vaccine administration claims, …

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Take Action Against Diabetes

The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services Office of Minority Health (CMS OMH) is recognizing National Diabetes Month in November. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), an estimated 34 million people in the United States have diabetes, and 1 in 5 of them don’t know they have it. Diabetes occurs because …

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National Family Caregivers Month

National Family Caregivers Month, celebrated each November, is a time to recognize and honor family caregivers across the country. In November, the IPRO QIN-QIO is celebrating the efforts of family caregivers, supporting stronger relationships with loved ones, and raising awareness of the role that family caregivers play in the care of aging relatives and those …

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Report: Achieving a Cohesive Culture for Health Equity in Latino and All Communities

Salud America! and Robert Wood Johnson Foundation are sharing a research review summarizing current literature on: the social and health impact of poverty the impact of racism and bias on minorities those living in poverty It highlights emerging interventions, policies, and practices that can be implemented to alleviate poverty, improve social cohesion, reduce bias, and …

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Resource: NIH COVID-19 Communities Responding Together

Community leaders can play a vital role in connecting their communities with important, accurate information about public health and clinical research. The National Institutes of Health (NIH) and The Community Engagement Alliance offers resources that can help organizations talk with their communities about COVID-19, the vaccines being developed, and the importance of minorities being included …

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Initiative: RWJBarnabas Health Launches Social Determinants of Health Initiative

New Jersey-based RWJBarnabas Health (RWJBH) has launched a culturally tailored and fully integrated initiative to address social determinants of health (SDOH). RWJBH has partnered with NowPow, a digital community referral platform, and ConsejoSano, a patient engagement platform that specializes in linguistically and culturally tailored outreach, to develop a program that screens every patient for SDOH, …

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Report: How States Can Advance Health Equity & Address Health System Costs

Budget limitations, systemic racism and a mandate to contain costs while maintaining access to quality care have been long-standing challenges for states. According to a National Academy for State Health Policy (NASHP) report, the rising cost of health care, particularly for racial/ethnic minorities, has created a barrier to accessing quality care. In 2018, 13% of …

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