CMS Innovation Center Tackles Implicit Bias
Note: This blog was originally posted on HealthAffairs.org on July 5, 2022.
Excerpt: The disparate impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on beneficiaries based on factors such as race, ethnicity, geography, and income, as well as a review of lessons from its first decade of work, led the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) Innovation Center to articulate a new vision: “Achieve equitable outcomes through high quality, affordable, person-centered care.” To realize this vision, the Innovation Center developed a strategic plan organized around five objectives, one of which is to advance health equity.
In support of its health equity work, the Innovation Center conducted a review of three existing experimental payment and service delivery models to determine whether implicit bias may be present and, if so, whether such bias has led to the unintentional exclusion of certain beneficiary groups from the models. The results of this analysis, discussed below, are informing broader efforts to address bias across the Innovation Center’s models.