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CMS Seeks Feedback on Disparity Methods

The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services seeks stakeholder feedback on two disparity methods the agency developed to report readmission rates by patient social risk factors.

The Within-Hospital Disparity Method compares outcomes for patient groups based on social risk factors within a hospital, while the Dual/Race Outcome Rate Method compares patient outcomes across hospitals.

The CMS methodology report uses the disparity methods to compare 30-day readmission rates for pneumonia by race and among patients dually eligible for Medicare and Medicaid. The report also includes high-level readmission data for other conditions, including:

  • heart failure;
  • acute myocardial infarction (heart attack);
  • chronic obstructive pulmonary disease;
  • stroke;
  • coronary artery bypass surgery (open heart surgery); and
  • total hip arthroplasty and/or knee arthroplasty (hip/knee replacement).

The disparity methods could be used to highlight disparities for other outcomes, such as mortality and complications, and other social risk factors, such as gender.

Submit comments to and include “public comment” in the subject line. If commenting on behalf of an organization, include the organization’s name and your contact information in the email. CMS will accept comments through Dec. 14.

For questions, contact Senior Director of Policy Erin O’Malley at or 202.585.0127.


About the Author

Emily Schweich is a senior communications associate for America's Essential Hospitals.

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