2020 CMS Health Equity Award Winners: UnitedHealthcare and Atrium Health
We are proud to present the 2020 CMS Health Equity Award to UnitedHealthcare and Atrium Health, who have demonstrated their commitment to health equity through a strategic approach to identifying, prioritizing, and addressing health disparities.
This is the third year we have offered the annual CMS Health Equity Award, which identifies organizations who work to achieve health equity for vulnerable populations and shines a light on their leadership to provide examples of successful approaches to reducing disparities. Learn about this year’s winners.
Former CMS OMH Director Dr. Cara James speaks to representatives from United Healthcare and Atrium Health, winners of the Health Equity Award, at the 2020 CMS Quality Conference.
UnitedHealthcare is a payer that covers millions of people under different types of insurance at all ages of life.They seek to deliver high quality care and be responsive to the needs of each person and the communities in which they live. UnitedHealthcare works to partner with care providers, collaborating in new ways to improve patient care.
Focusing on three states, UnitedHealthcare implemented a myriad of activities throughout their enterprise to reduce disparities in maternal health. They identified gaps in care among Medicaid enrollees for postpartum care and designed culturally and regionally tailored interventions across three states to reduce disparities. Their specific focus was promoting early and comprehensive postpartum care. To do this, they used community health workers to evaluate and assist members with their unique needs in Michigan, Ohio, and Hawaii. These activities included home visits, local primary care and obstetric nurse partnerships, and care coordination. As a result, between 2018 and 2019, UnitedHealthcare reduced disparities in timely postpartum care for Black women by 42.4% in Michigan (from 15.1% to 8.7%), by 83.2% in Ohio (from 19.6% to 3.3%), and by 40.3% for rural women in Hawaii (from 12.9% to 7.7%).
Read more about UnitedHealthcare’s health equity work: https://www.uhc.com/about-us/empowering-health
Atrium Health is a healthcare organization that connects patients with on-demand care, specialists, and a primary care network. Their focus is on delivering quality patient care, supporting medical research and education, and joining with partners to keep the community healthy. Atrium Health is formerly known as Carolinas HealthCare System.
To address racial and ethnic disparities in colorectal cancer screening rates, Atrium Health strengthened their data and their collaboration with community partners. Through a redesign of their electronic medical record (EMR), they transformed the way they collect demographic data – adding or improving questions on race, ethnicity, language preference, assigned sex at birth, and gender identity – and created a tool that stratifies data related to mortality, diabetes, hypertension, colorectal cancer screening, and high-risk medications by race & ethnicity, gender, and location. This data was used to implement a number of culturally appropriate interventions at the primary care practice and community levels, including a phone call campaign and working with a Spanish-language newspaper, which resulted in an additional 200 screenings and the detection of some cancers at earlier stages. As a result, from 2018 to 2019, Atrium Health closed the disparity of colorectal screenings for Hispanic males compared to the overall screening rate for males from 9.4 percentage points to 3.5 percentage points, reducing the disparity by 62.7 percent.
Read more about Atrium Health’s health equity work: https://atriumhealth.org/about-us/diversity-inclusion/patients-come-first
Learn about past CMS Health Equity Award winners.