The CMS Equity Plan for Improving Quality in Medicare (CMS Equity Plan for Medicare) outlines CMS‘s path to help advance health equity by improving the quality of care provided to minority and other underserved Medicare beneficiaries. The framework for the plan consists of three interconnected domains: increasing understanding and awareness of disparities, creating and sharing solutions, and accelerating implementation of effective actions. In order to achieve complete equity, the framework and plan calls for continuous improvement and action—starting with the six priorities.
Six Priority Areas
CMS identified six high-impact priority areas based on a review of the evidence base and stakeholder input. These priorities encompass both system- and community-level approaches to achieve equity in Medicare.
Priority 1: Expand the Collection, Reporting, and Analysis of Standardized Data
Priority 1 focuses on increasing understanding and awareness of the value of collecting and analyzing patient data, and developing solutions and tools for stakeholders to collect and analyze local data and pinpoint disparities in their communities.
Priority 2: Evaluate Disparities Impacts and Integrate Equity Solutions Across CMS Programs
Priority 2 focuses on increasing understanding of the impact CMS programs have on health disparities and on identifying, developing and integrating proven solutions to improve their impact on vulnerable populations.
Priority 3: Develop and Disseminate Promising Approaches to Reduce Health Disparities
Priority 3 uses CMS’ role as a leader in quality improvement to develop promising solutions for improving equity in Medicare quality, and to foster actions to replicate and adapt effective models and strategies.
Priority 4: Increase the Ability of the Health Care Workforce to Meet the Needs of Vulnerable Populations
Priority 4 focuses on increasing understanding of health care workforce innovations in reducing disparities, developing solutions to provide culturally and linguistically and effective care, and disseminating best practices to drive stakeholders to action.
Priority 5: Improve Communication and Language Access for Individuals with Limited English Proficiency and Persons with Disabilities
Priority 5 focuses on understanding and raising awareness of barriers to the provision of communication and language access services, and disseminating solutions to enable action from providers to overcome those barriers.
Priority 6: Increase Physical Accessibility of Health Care Facilities
Priority 6 focuses on understanding the current landscape of physical accessibility to health care facilities for Medicare beneficiaries, identifying solutions, and encouraging action to make health care facilities more accessible.