CMS: Taking Action to Improve Health Equity During National Minority Health Month

During April, the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services Office of Minority Health (CMS OMH) recognizes National Minority Health Month. This health observance promotes education around the health inequities affecting people from underserved and marginalized communities, and the theme for this year’s observance is “Better Health Through Better Understanding.”

Our office is proud to embody this theme through initiatives like the Coverage to Care (C2C) program. C2C resources and programs aim to help patients understand their health coverage and connect to various primary care and preventive services, in line with the CMS Framework for Health Equity 2022–2032. Priority 4 of the Framework is to advance language access, health literacy, and the provision of culturally tailored services, which C2C incorporates by offering resources in up to ten different languages. As 36% of adults in the United States have basic or below basic health literacy, C2C resources also take care to explain health coverage in an easily digestible way and to break down information about preventive services by audience.

National Minority Health Month is a great opportunity to encourage those in your community to make the most of their health coverage in order to live a long, healthy life. Share the resources below throughout the month to help members of your community understand their health care.

In addition, we are happy to announce that registration for the inaugural CMS Health Equity Conference is now open. The conference will be held at Howard University in Washington, D.C. on June 7 and 8. Participants will have the option of attending in-person or virtually. This event will provide an opportunity to learn more about health disparities that exist within our communities as well as give participants the chance to connect with peers, build relationships, learn about new initiatives, and share research findings. There is no cost to attend, so be sure to register soon as spots will fill up quickly. Visit our CMS Health Equity Conference website for more information and to register by May 19.

We hope to see you there!

Resources:

  • View the C2C Roadmap to Better Care, which is available in 9 languages. This resource explains what health coverage is and how to use it to get primary care and preventive services through 8 clear steps.
  • Download materials through the C2C Prevention Resources webpage so your patients can learn about services available at no cost to them under most health coverage. These resources are each available in 8 languages and are individually tailored to adults, men, women, teens, children, and infants.
  • Read about the Connected Care campaign, which describes the benefits of chronic care management (CCM) for patients with multiple chronic conditions and provides health care professionals with resources to implement CCM, like the CCM Connected Care Toolkit.
  • Review the CMS Framework for Health Equity 2022–2032, which informs all of CMS OMH’s work and aims to further advance health equity, expand coverage, and improve health outcomes for the more than 150 million individuals supported by CMS programs. Similarly, the CMS Framework for Advancing Health Care in Rural, Tribal, and Geographically Isolated Communities explains how CMS is working to promote access to high-quality, equitable care in rural, Tribal, and geographically isolated communities.
  • Follow the Guide to Developing a Language Access Plan to ensure persons with limited English proficiency have meaningful access to your organization’s programs through high quality language services.
  • Use the Mapping Medicare Disparities Tool to identify disparities between subgroups of Medicare enrollees (e.g., racial and ethnic groups) in health outcomes, utilization, and spending.
  • Explore the Health Equity Technical Assistance Program to receive guidance on taking action against health disparities and embedding health equity into your organization’s work.

Visit the Department of Health and Human Services Office of Minority Health website to find additional resources that you can use and share during National Minority Health Month.

The post CMS: Taking Action to Improve Health Equity During National Minority Health Month appeared first on Pennsylvania Office of Rural Health.

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