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Association Makes Equity Measurement Recommendations to CMS

In a March 29 letter to Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) Administrator Chiquita Brooks-LaSure, America’s Essential Hospitals outlined key considerations for the agency when structuring, collecting, and reporting equity data for the purpose of improving health outcomes. 

The association applauded CMS’ commitment to health equity and efforts to leverage quality measures to mitigate health disparities and also made recommendations for equity measures under development for the Medicare and Medicaid programs.

Specifically, America’s Essential Hospitals recommends:

  • standardized, culturally appropriate collection of patient race and ethnicity data and social risk factor information to identify disparities and target activities to achieve equity;
  • ensuring equity measurement recognizes the challenges of incorporating social determinants of health data into electronic health records;
  • a focus on equity strategies that account for communities’ unique, evolving needs; and
  • an evidence-based, gradually implemented approach to equity measurement with testing, monitoring, and opportunities for continued feedback from essential hospitals and the communities they serve. 

Contact Senior Director of Policy Erin O’Malley at eomalley@essentialhospitals.org or 202.585.0127 with questions.

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About the Author

Abigail Painchaud is a policy associate at America's Essential Hospitals.

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