Materials & News

Hispanic Heritage Month: Resources for Patients, Families, & Caregivers

Improve Health Equity During Hispanic Heritage Month From September 15 – October 15, the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services Office of Minority Health (CMS OMH), along with the IPRO QIN-QIO, honors National Hispanic Heritage Month. This year, CMS OMH is prioritizing health for the nation’s 60 million Hispanics by encouraging annual flu shots and …

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Honoring Hispanic Heritage Month: September 15-October 15

Improve Health Equity During Hispanic Heritage Month This year, as the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services Office of Minority Health (CMS OMH) honors National Hispanic Heritage Month, we hope to focus on prioritizing health for the nation’s 60 million Hispanics by encouraging annual flu shots and sharing resources to help Hispanics take steps toward …

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Healthy People 2030: Building a healthier future for all

The HHS Office of Disease Prevention and Health Promotion (ODPHP) released the fifth edition of the Healthy People initiative, which builds on knowledge gained over the past four decades to address current and emerging public health priorities and challenges. Healthy People 2030 sets data-driven national objectives to improve health and well-being over the next decade. …

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Black Barbershop Hypertension Intervention Gets Telemedicine Update

The success of a barbershop hypertension intervention for Blacks continued with the addition of a telemedicine component to reduce costs and improve efficiency, according to a pilot study. Blood pressure fell from an average of 155.1/84.9 mm Hg at baseline to 126.4/75.0 mm Hg after 12 months among Black men who received the intervention. The …

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North Carolina Creates NCCare360

North Carolina has created the nation’s first statewide infrastructure connecting healthcare and human services called NCCARE360. Through a public-private partnership, the state developed this technology platform to coordinate whole-person care, uniting traditional healthcare settings and organizations that address non-medical drivers of health, often referred to as social determinants of health. The system is available in …

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Racial Disparities Persist in Hospice Care and End-of-Life Treatment

A study published in JAMA suggests that Black people are less likely to receive hospice care and more likely to receive intensive treatment in the last six months of life, regardless of cause of death, compared to White people. Researchers examined 1,212 fee-for-service Medicare beneficiaries who died of natural causes between 2013 and 2015. Overall, …

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Pragmatic Framework for Establishing Meaningful Measurements for Equity

The authors of this commentary in the NEJM Catalyst digital journal outline a four-tier model that offers a framework for interconnected measures to advance equity for patients and healthcare staff. The lack of standards and benchmarks contribute to a fragmented equity landscape where: organizations stumble across and/or react to inequities rather than systematically and proactively …

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Behavioral Health & Opioids: September & October Updates

The field of behavioral health is always evolving, and our teams are constantly looking for opportunities to sharpen skills and learn new things. We regularly gather a variety of webinars, training opportunities, and resources on what’s happening in the field and these lists are just too good to keep to ourselves. Below is a curated …

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Report Released: Independent Nursing Home COVID-19 Commission Findings

The independent Coronavirus Commission for Safety and Quality in Nursing Homes released its final report to CMS on September 16. The Commission report was created to conduct an independent review and comprehensive assessments of confronting COVID-19. This report contains best practices that emphasize and reinforce CMS strategies and initiatives, including those implemented by Quality Innovation …

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CMS & CDC Trainings & Live Q&A Sessions on COVID-19 Prevention for Nursing Home Management

Trainings The CMS-CDC Fundamentals of COVID-19 Prevention for Nursing Home Management training series covers 13 topics that your nursing home staff must know to manage the COVID-19 pandemic. These trainings are housed on www.QIOProgram.org for 24/7 access. New, pre-recorded trainings will be released every Thursday at 4PM EDT through September 2020. Live Q&A Sessions Live …

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Disparities in U.S. hospitalizations for serious infections in patients with & without opioid use disorder (OUD)

In a research article published in PLOS Medicine (August 2020), patients with opioid use disorder (OUD) who are hospitalized for serious infections requiring prolonged intravenous antibiotics may face barriers to discharge, which could prolong length of stay (LOS) and increase financial burden. Researchers used the 2016 National Inpatient Sample, a nationally representative database of all …

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How Can Hospitals Improve the Health of their Communities?

The Bloomberg American Health Initiative and the Johns Hopkins Center for Health Equity are working with IBM Watson Health to develop a method to measure the impact of hospitals on community health and equity, for possible inclusion in the Fortune/IBM Watson Health 100 Top Hospitals Program. The U.S. has experienced a decline in life expectancy …

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Respiratory distress the cause of most post-COVID hospital readmissions

This published article in the Journal of General Internal Medicine (August 2020) describes a retrospective cohort study of COVID-19 positive patients who were hospitalized between February 27 and April 12, 2020. The main measures were readmission or return to the emergency department following discharge for COVID-19 infection. Of the 2864 discharged patients, 103 (3.6%) returned …

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CMS Announces CHART Model for Improving Rural Health

The CMS Innovation Center recently announced the Community Health Access and Rural Transformation (CHART) Model to address disparities by providing a path for rural communities to transform health care delivery by leveraging innovative financial arrangements combined with operational and regulatory flexibilities. The Model aims to: Increase financial stability for rural providers by providing up-front investments …

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Housing Insecurity a Growing Problem

COVID-19 will have an unprecedented impact on homelessness, according to analysis by Dr. Brendan O’Flaherty, a professor of economics at Columbia University. Dr. O’Flaherty projects a 40-45% increase in homelessness this year compared to January 2019. This equates to nearly 250,000 additional people losing their housing, mostly due to lay-offs resulting from the economic impacts …

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Assessing Telemedicine Unreadiness Among Older Adults in the U.S.

The COVID-19 pandemic has spurred a rapid and massive shift to telemedicine to help protect patients and providers from infection. A JAMA Internal Medicine research letter asserts that an estimated 38% of older adults in the U.S. are not ready for telemedicine, mainly due to inexperience with technology. These findings are based on a cross-sectional …

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Health Equity: Where can I learn more?

View popular resources from our partners. Federal Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS): Office of Minority Health Health & Human Services (HHS): Health Disparities Partners The Community Guide: Health Equity Robert Wood Johnson Foundation: What is Health Equity? Rural Health Information Hub: Social Determinants of Health in Rural Communities Toolkit Social Determinants of Health …

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COVID-19 and Influenza Season 2020-2021

The COVID-19 pandemic caused healthcare providers to change how they operate to continue providing essential services to patients. It is essential to ensure immunization services are maintained or re-initiated. Immunizations help protect individuals and communities from vaccine-preventable diseases and outbreaks while reducing the burden of respiratory illness during the upcoming influenza season. Centers for Disease …

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Important CMS & CDC Nursing Home Training Series Change

Thursday, August 20, 2020 – The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) transitioned the live nursing home infection control trainings to a pre-recorded, self-paced format. New Trainings Series The new CMS-CDC Fundamentals of COVID-19 Prevention for Nursing Home Management training series will include 13 topics …

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August is National Immunization Awareness Month

The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services Office of Minority Health is honoring National Immunization Awareness Month. Although vaccination rates are low among all adults in the U.S., research shows that racial and ethnic minority groups are disproportionately affected when it comes to receiving recommended vaccines. Many factors can contribute to lower vaccination rates, including …

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Now Available: Web-Based Course on Hospice QRP Education and Training Resources

The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) provides a web-based training course for hospices wanting a resource to the many trainings offered related to the Hospice Quality Reporting Program (HQRP).  The goal is to assist hospice staff to better determine and access those trainings and documents that meet their learning needs. This course is …

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Bringing Attention to Health Equity for People with Disabilities

In honor of the 30th anniversary of the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), the Medicare-Medicaid Coordination Office (MMCO) is sharing messages and materials on supporting equal opportunities and inclusion for people with disabilities, many of whom are dually eligible for Medicare and Medicaid. On July 26, 1990 the ADA was enacted to prohibit discrimination against …

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CDC COVID-19 Webinar on July 29: Promising Practices in Health Equity

July 29, 2020 @ 3:00 – 4:00 p.m. ET Please join the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) for another webinar focused on sharing promising public health practices to reduce COVID-19 related disparities. During this webinar, presenters will discuss actions taken to mitigate the disproportionate impact of COVID-19 on racial and ethnic minorities. Additionally, …

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COVID-19 Workshop on June 18: Health Equity & COVID-19 – Mitigating Impacts on Minority Populations

Thursday, June 18, 2020, 10:30-11:00 AM EDT Our COVID-19 Workshop Series continues on Thursdays, 10:30 – 11:00 am. Join us on June 18 at 10:30am for a COVID-19 workshop on health equity. Better understand how and why COVID-19 is disproportionately affecting minority and vulnerable populations Learn actionable strategies for mitigating the impact of the pandemic …

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Implementing Strategies for COVID-19 Surveillance and Early Detection

How should nursing homes approach COVID-19 testing and surveillance for their residents, staff and others who visit their facilities? National Nursing Home Training Webinar Through our work with hundreds of nursing homes, the IPRO QIN-QIO, and other QIN-QIOs across the country, are excellent resources for quality improvement expertise and crowd-sourced provider tips. And that’s what …

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QIN-QIOs Partner with CMS to Create New COVID-19 Toolkit for Nursing Homes

The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) developed a toolkit full of innovative solutions deployed at the state level to protect our nation’s vulnerable nursing home residents during the COVID-19 pandemic—all scouted and sourced by the IPRO QIN-QIO and other Quality Innovation Network-Quality Improvement Organizations (QIN-QIOs) serving every state and territory. Governors, long term …

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Toolkit Connects Nursing Homes with Local Solutions to COVID-19 Crisis Care

The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) has released a new toolkit developed with QIN-QIOs to aid nursing homes, governors, state departments of health and other agencies who provide oversight and assistance to these facilities to aid in the fight against the COVID-19 pandemic within nursing homes. The toolkit features best practices from a …

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Resources for Mental Health Month

May is Mental Health Month, and we want to recognize the unique position frontline health workers are in during this pandemic and what kind of toll that takes on their mental wellness. As it is, those in health care face high rates of burn out. But now they’re even more at risk for negative mental …

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CMS Issues Nursing Homes Best Practices Toolkit to Combat COVID-19

CMS released a new toolkit developed to aid nursing homes, Governors, states, departments of health, and other agencies who provide oversight and assistance to these facilities, with additional resources to aid in the fight against the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic within nursing homes. The toolkit builds upon previous actions taken by the Centers for …

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AHRQ’s COVID-19 Resources

The Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality (AHRQ) shares a new online resource that provides access to critical research and tools related to the COVID-19 pandemic. The resource was developed to support healthcare professionals in their effort to confront the COVID-19 pandemic. It includes: tools and resources for improving clinical practice in hospitals, ambulatory care …

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May is Mental Health Awareness Month

May is Mental Health Awareness Month, and The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid services (CMS) wants to remind people with Medicare that the program covers mental health services to support them during these stressful times including: Telehealth counseling services during the COVID-19 public health emergency – learn more here: https://www.medicare.gov/coverage/telehealth Other outpatient mental health services, …

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Additional Resources & Calls for Stakeholders

CMS has developed a toolkit for stakeholder partners to help you stay informed on CMS and HHS materials available on COVID-19. Check back often for the most up-to-date information; please refresh your browser often to see the most up-to-date information. Upcoming COVID-19 Stakeholder Calls Conference lines are limited, so we highly encourage you to join …

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Medicare Telehealth and Remote Patient Monitoring (RPM) Services Guide

View this guide to review coding and guidelines for the COVID-19 emergency. Updated 10/14/20 This information was prepared as a service to the public, and is not intended to grant rights or impose obligations. This information may contain references or links to statutes, regulations, or other policy materials. The information provided is only intended to …

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COVID-19 Resource Guide

The following guide is a compendium of resources related to COVID-19. These resources were identified by our quality improvement experts on behalf of the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS). These resources will help support your work in reducing COVID-19 cases and helping prevent new cases. Updated 4/20/20 Updated edition coming soon

CDC’s LTC Mini-Webinars

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) long-term care (LTC) mini-webinars are now live! These mini-webinars are all published on the Key Strategies to Prepare for COVID-19 in Long-term Care Facilities (LTCFs) web page at the bottom under a “Webinar Series” section. View the handout (PDF). These new webinars will be a great training …

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New Toolkit to Help States Navigate COVID-19 Health Workforce Challenges

CMS and the Assistant Secretary of Preparedness and Response (ASPR) released a new toolkit to help state and local healthcare decision makers maximize workforce flexibilities when confronting COVID-19 in their communities. Developed by the Healthcare Resilience Task Force as part of the unified government’s response to COVID-19, the toolkit includes a full suite of available …

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COVID-19 Outpatient Dialysis Facility Preparedness Assessment Tool

All U.S. outpatient dialysis facilities should be prepared for the possible arrival of patients with Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19). All outpatient dialysis facilities should ensure their staff are trained, equipped, and capable of practices needed to: ƒPrevent the spread of respiratory infections, including COVID-19, within the dialysis facility.ƒ Promptly identify and isolate patients with possible …

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COVID-19 Checklists and Tools to Accelerate Relief for State Medicaid & CHIP Programs

New tools to help speed states’ access to emergency flexibilities and resources Today, the Trump Administration released new tools to strip away regulatory red tape and unleash new resources to support state Medicaid and Children’s Health Insurance Programs (CHIP) during the 2019 Novel Coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak. Because of the President’s bold action in declaring COVID-19 …

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CMS Releases Telehealth Toolkits

The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) today released two comprehensive toolkits on telehealth–one specific to general practitioners, and one for providers treating patients with end-stage renal disease (ESRD). Each toolkit contains links to help providers learn about the general concept of telehealth, choose telemedicine vendors, initiate a telemedicine program, monitor patients remotely, and …

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COVID-19 Preparedness Checklist for Nursing Homes and other Long-Term Care Settings

Nursing homes and other long-term care facilities can take steps to assess and improve their preparedness for responding to coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19). Each facility will need to adapt this checklist to meet its needs and circumstances based on differences among facilities (e.g., patient/resident characteristics, facility size, scope of services, hospital affiliation). This checklist should …

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