Health Equity

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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Webinars: November Health Equity Events

Serving Low-Income Seniors: Lessons and the Impact of COVID-19 November 6, 12–1PM EDT The ongoing COVID-19 pandemic has had a disproportionately negative impact on both low-income communities and seniors in the U.S. This briefing will provide an overview of the complex ecosystem of federal, state, and private programs that coexist to integrate medical, LTSS, and …

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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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Report: 2020 National Quality Forum Report

The National Quality Forum (NQF) recently released a report Improving Diagnostic Quality and Safety/ Reducing Diagnostic Error: Measurement Considerations funded by the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS). The NQF convened a multi-stakeholder committee to identify recommendations for the practical application of the Diagnostic Process and Outcomes domain of the 2017 Diagnostic Quality and …

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Report: Tracking FY2019 Federal Funding to Combat the Opioid Crisis

The Bipartisan Policy Center released a report in September that tracks spending to address the opioid epidemic across the federal government for fiscal year 2019. The report provides insight into how funds are being spent at the state and county-level. Reports from states and counties across the country suggest opioid-involved overdose deaths are rising in …

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Article: Women Get Worse Care for Heart Attacks with Cardiogenic Shock

A study published in Circulation: Heart Failure concluded that women age 18-55 with Acute Myocardial Infarction – Cardiogenic Shock (AMI-CS), are treated less aggressively and experience higher in-hospital mortality compared to men. Cardiogenic shock (CS) is the leading cause of death in patients with AMI who reach the hospital alive, with mortality rates greater than …

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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 Initiative: 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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Article: 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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Resource: 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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Article: 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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Article: 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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Article: 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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Initiative: 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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Article: 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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Initiative: 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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Article: 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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Article: 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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Article: Receipt of Home-Based Care Among Older Medicare Beneficiaries

A research article in HealthAffairs (August 2020) states that there is untapped potential to expand home-based medical care to homebound and non-homebound seniors, which can lower cost of care and improve clinical outcomes. Estimates suggest there are about two million homebound seniors in the U.S. and about five million seniors who can only leave home …

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Resources: Where can I learn more about health equity?

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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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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Resources: 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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