Skip to Main Content
Main Content

Past Health Equity Award Winners

CMS Equity Plan for Medicare
From Coverage to Care
Connected Care:
The Chronic Care Management Resource
Rural Health
Advancing Health Equity R & D
Health Observances
Webinars & Events
Health Equity Award

Past CMS Health Equity Award Winners


  • Kaiser  Permanente - As one of the nation’s first health care providers to racially integrate its hospitals and waiting rooms, as well as hire a diverse workforce, Kaiser Permanente has seven decades of experience promoting diversity, inclusion, and health equity. This longstanding commitment to equitable care has enabled Kaiser Permanente to become an industry leader in developing and implementing best practices, approaches and evidence-based medicine aimed at improving health equity outcomes. As one instance of these targeted improvements, Kaiser Permanente’s Hypertension Program Improvement Process has bolstered blood pressure control rates among its members across racial/ethnic groups, showing significant and sustained improvement in hypertension control levels for Kaiser Permanente’s African American Medicare members, ages 18 to 85.

    From 2009 to 2017, the percentage of African American Medicare members with controlled hypertension increased from 75.3 percent to 89.6 percent. During this time, as a result of Kaiser Permanente’s focused and sustained efforts, the African-American–White disparity in hypertension control rates was reduced from a high of 5.3 percentage points to 2.2 points (a 58 percent decrease). Throughout this period, hypertension control rates for all racial and ethnic groups have consistently surpassed the HEDIS national 90th percentile for Medicare members. Kaiser Permanente has ensured that all members receive the highest standards of care while closing the gap in outcomes between two populations they serve.
  • Novant  Health - Novant Health’s mission is to improve the health of communities, one person at a time. To support this mission, their President and CEO signed the #123forEquity Pledge to Act to eliminate healthcare disparities in April 2016 and a multi-disciplinary team was identified to focus on health equity. This team discovered a disparity in pneumonia readmission rates. The Novant Health team performed 100 comprehensive medical record reviews, looking at 29 clinical and socioeconomic data elements in order to understand the root causes of this disparity. As a result, Novant Health identified opportunities related to the discharge process, patient support after discharge, comorbidities and mortality rate. The team formed five work streams to develop targeted interventions: discharge, population health, home visits, access to healthcare and creating awareness.

    Within one year, between January-September 2017, Novant Health successfully closed the gap: the disparity for African American patients who were readmitted with a diagnosis of pneumonia was reduced by 50% (from 4% to 2%) in comparison to the other populations served. This project has created a framework and blue print that is being utilized for other health equity initiatives both within the system and in the communities that Novant Health serves.