On September 8, 2015, CMS released its first “CMS Equity Plan for Improving Quality in Medicare,” which seeks to reduce health disparities among Medicare populations that experience disproportionately high burdens of disease, lower quality of care, and barriers accessing care. Such populations identified by CMS include: racial and ethnic minorities, sexual and gender minorities, people with disabilities, and those living in rural areas. The plan identifies the following six priority areas for action:
- Expand the collection, reporting, and analysis of standardized data
- Evaluate disparities impacts and integrate equity solutions across CMS programs
- Develop and disseminate promising approaches to reduce health disparities
- Increase the ability of the health care workforce to meet the needs of vulnerable populations
- Improve communication and language access for individuals with limited English proficiency and persons with disabilities
- Increase physical accessibility of health care facilities.