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institute

Hospitals can promote the use of donor human milk to provide a lifeline for premature infants and reduce racial and ethnic disparities in birth outcomes.

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state-action

The bridge program task force will create a proposal for affordable, continuous health insurance coverage for individuals with frequent income fluctuations.

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webinar

Learn about equity proposals in the fiscal year 2023 Inpatient Prospective Payment System proposed rule that focuses on social determinants of health, climate, maternal health care, and more.

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policy

In a white paper, the association encourages CMS to develop policies that reduce disparities and incorporate equity into waiver approval and evaluation processes.

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policy

The action plan includes goals to close gaps in health care access, quality, and outcomes through data collection, outreach, and community engagement.

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policy

The proposed fiscal year 2023 Inpatient Prospective Payment System rule would increase operating payment rates by 3.2 percent and make other changes to Medicare payment and quality reporting policies. CMS is accepting comments on the proposed rule until June 17.

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policy

The ability to provide hospital-level care at home has been essential to managing case surges during the COVID-19 pandemic and can improve access and equity outside of a public health crisis.

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We welcome the focus on improving equity in today’s FY 2023 IPPS proposed rule, including in proposals related to climate change and maternal health.

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policy

Recommendations for Medicare and Medicaid equity measures under development focus on standardized data collection and opportunities for testing and feedback.

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state-action

At least 20 states are pursuing legislation to limit access to gender-affirming care for transgender youth, while some states have proposed legislation to prohibit discrimination based on sexual orientation and gender identity.

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institute

Hospitals are invited to apply for a new learning collaborative to create or enhance office-based addiction treatment programs for opioid use disorder.

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Essential Insights

Mini Swift, MD, MPH, vice president for population health at association member Alameda Health System, shares how the association’s research tools and Essential Women’s Leadership Academy shaped her career.

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state-action

New York Gov. Kathy Hochul (D) gave her first State of the State address, highlighting plans to retain and grow the state's health care workforce and invest in initiatives to advance health equity.

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state-action

As part of its final report and implementation plan, the Presidential Health Equity Task Force highlighted several states and communities that are improving equitable health care, including California's efforts to expand broadband services, the Cherokee Nation's vaccination efforts, and more.

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policy

The Presidential Health Equity Task Force released recommendations for equitable disbursement of COVID-19 relief funds and culturally aligned communication to people of color and other underserved populations. Meanwhile, the White House announced $785 million in new investments to improve on equity.

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policy

The rule adjusts the conversion factor used to determine physician payment rates and includes provisions related to appropriate use criteria, Medicare reimbursement for telehealth services, vaccine payment rates, the Quality Payment Program, and the Medicare Shared Savings Program.

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policy

The Medicare Outpatient Prospective Payment System final rule for calendar year 2022 continues cuts to hospitals in the 340B Drug Pricing Program and pauses elimination of the inpatient-only list. The rule also includes provisions on price transparency, rural emergency hospitals, and health equity.

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policy

A new Center for Medicare and Medicaid Innovation white paper outlines a strategy to advance health system transformation. The goal is to achieve equitable outcomes by driving accountable care, advancing health equity, supporting innovation, addressing affordability, and creating partnerships.

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policy

Money from the American Rescue Plan will fund up to 50 awards through the Health Resources and Services Administration's State Loan Repayment Program for state-run programs that support, recruit, and retain primary care clinicians who work in underserved communities.

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state-action

Colorado expanded its essential health benefit benchmark plan to enhance coverage for those seeking gender-affirming care, effective January 2023. This expansion is the first of its kind to be approved by the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services.

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Essential Insights

Susan Ehrlich, MD, MPP, past-chair of the association's board, reflects on her personal health equity journey and what she’s learned from essential hospitals.

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policy

The calendar year 2022 Physician Fee Schedule proposed rule includes provisions on Medicare payment for telehealth services, the Quality Payment Program, and more. The association also responded to a request for information on improving health equity through data collection.

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state-action

This State Policy Snapshot summarizes how states are working to improve maternal health and equity through Medicaid Section 1115 waivers, provider training, community-based services, and panels to investigate maternal deaths.

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Health systems representing 177 member hospitals have pledged to fight health care disparities by ensuring equitable distribution of COVID-19 vaccines.

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The illustrated guide details quality, population health, and COVID-19 projects recognized for excellence and innovation in the annual Gage Awards program.

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policy

The White House COVID-19 Response Team will host an Aug. 23 virtual conversation on increasing vaccination in an equitable way. The event is open to health system leaders and health care providers.

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policy

CMS on Aug. 2 released its fiscal year 2022 Inpatient Prospective Payment System final rule, which includes payment and quality reporting provisions. The rule does not finalize provisions related to new residency slots, organ acquisition costs, or Section 1115 waiver days. 

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Essential Insights

As our association celebrates its 40th anniversary, we look back on a long legacy of working to ensure equity in health care, especially for those affected by the public health threat of structural racism.

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policy

The rule includes provisions related to telehealth, vaccine payment rates, the Quality Payment Program, and the Medicare Shared Savings Program; comments are due to CMS by Sept. 13.

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Essential Insights

For 40 years, America’s Essential Hospitals and its members have championed care for underserved communities, including LGBTQ people. As we celebrate Pride Month, the association reflects on members’ efforts to improve care for this population and recent administration actions to support this goal.

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state-action

This State Policy Snapshot examines the policies and initiatives states are pursuing to dismantle structural racism and achieve health equity. 

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policy

HHS will interpret and enforce the Affordable Care Act's prohibition on discrimination "on the basis of sex" to include sexual orientation and gender identity. The change comes in response to a Trump administration rule in June 2020 that removed protections for transgender and LGBTQ individuals.

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policy

The agency seeks input, information, and recommendations from stakeholders on equity assessments and strategies, barrier and burden reduction, procurement and contracting processes, financial assistance, and stakeholder and community engagement.

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policy

A proposed rule from CMS includes numerous changes for Medicare’s Inpatient Prospective Payment System for fiscal year 2022, including a 2.8 percent increase in inpatient payment rates and updates to quality reporting programs and the Medicare Shared Savings Program.

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policy

The Office of Minority Health page includes tools for data collection and analysis, developing language access plans, and strategic plan creation.

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policy

The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services’ proposed fiscal year 2022 Inpatient Prospective Payment System rule would increase operating payment rates by 2.8 percent, repeal market-based data collection, and add 1,000 new graduate medical education teaching slots, among other provisions.

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state-action

As COVID-19 vaccine rollout continues, several states — including California, Maryland, Massachusetts, Ohio, and Washington — have created targeted campaigns to reach marginalized populations disproportionately affected by the public health emergency.

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As we reflect on today’s events, we look ahead to the opportunity to come together as a nation, acknowledge the structural and systemic challenges we still face, and continue the hard but necessary work of building a more just and equitable society.

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policy

Everyone in the United States ages 16 and older is now eligible for a COVID-19 vaccine; CDC's advisory committee will meet April 23 to discuss the Janssen vaccine pause.

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policy

CDC and FDA recommend pausing Janssen COVID-19 vaccine administration after six U.S. reports of blood clots; HHS expands the Health Center Vaccine Program.

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America's Essential Hospitals thanks the Biden administration and CDC Director Rochelle Walensky for taking a strong stand on racism as a serious public health threat and for seeking to direct more investments at social determinants of health and mitigating health care disparities.

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state-action

At least 29 bills in 17 states involve health services for patients who are transgender, and many of these efforts specifically focus on youth populations. Several states proposed restricting access to transgender health care, by prohibiting or criminalizing gender-affirming care.

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policy

The Office of National Drug Control Policy outlines the Biden administration's drug policy priorities for 2021, including expanding access to evidence-based treatment and prevention services, advancing racial equity, reducing supply of illicit substances, and advancing recovery-ready workplaces.

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Essential Insights

While most states remain consumed by the ongoing COVID-19 crisis, state leaders are drafting fiscal year 2021 budgets and shifting focus to rebuilding their economies, improving health equity, and investing in health care infrastructure.

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state-action

People experiencing homelessness face barriers to vaccination, including lack of transportation, limited availability of technology, and no established connection to a health care provider. More than 30 states have specifically prioritized vaccinations for homeless populations.

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policy

A new White House Gender Policy Council, established via executive order, will coordinate efforts to advance gender equity and equality across executive departments and agencies.

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state-action

This State Policy Snapshot summarizes actions states are taking to combat human trafficking through task forces, training programs, and protections for trafficked individuals.

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policy

A CDC report shows promising COVID-19 vaccine safety profiles; the federal COVID-19 task force expands support for vaccination and testing.

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state-action

So far, 26 states and Washington, D.C., publicly report varying data on race and ethnicity for individuals who have received the vaccination. States also have taken different approaches to addressing disparities in vaccine administration and vaccine hesitancy.

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policy

CDC provides new vaccine demographic data and guidelines for ensuring close-fitting face masks; President Biden appoints two essential hospital leaders to a health equity task force.

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policy

The Joint Commission's latest Quick Safety newsletter offers recommendations to ensure equitable care during the COVID-19 pandemic.

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The work, part of a Kresge Foundation–supported project, follows a 2019 climate resiliency report from Essential Hospitals Institute, the association’s research entity.

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policy

Janssen applied for emergency use authorization of its COVID-19 vaccine; a CDC report shows reporting gaps in ethnic and racial data of vaccine recipients.

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policy

In his first week in office, President Biden released multiple executive orders of note to essential hospitals, including those related to COVID-19, health equity and nondiscrimination, and immigration.

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America’s Essential Hospitals applauds President Biden’s swift pledge to fight the COVID-19 pandemic through a national strategy and executive orders.

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policy

CDC announces target groups for phases 1b and 1c of COVID-19 vaccine allocation; a new brief recommends strategies for building vaccine trust.

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institute

A new grant program will support work to incorporate diversity, equity, and inclusion into internal medicine education and training.

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state-action

The Department of Health and Human Services distributed a lateral flow COVID-19 diagnostic test to states and territories across the country. Several states — including Arkansas, Kentucky, Nevada, New York, Oregon, and Utah—are using the tests to target vulnerable populations.

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webinar

Explore how to identify and engage stakeholders in your organization to reduce the use of services when the potential for patient harm exceeds the services' benefits. Part 2 of a three-part Value Champion series.

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webinar

Explore value within safety-net settings and the relationship between value, health equity, and overuse of services from the perspectives of two association members. Part 1 of a three-part Value Champion series.

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state-action

California released a Blueprint for a Safer Economy, which includes an equity measure to ensure California reopens its economy safely by reducing disease transmission in all communities. Meanwhile, the Federal Emergency Management Agency has awarded crisis counseling grants to more than 30 states.

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policy

CDC reports that airborne transmission is rare but possible; a framework includes recommendations for equitable vaccine allocation.

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institute

This informational brief describes the impact of structural racism on patients, providers, and communities, as well as what essential hospitals and other organizations are doing to combat structural racism.

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state-action

As the country works to expand COVID-19 through testing, every state has submitted a testing strategy to the federal government. Most state plans prioritize vulnerable populations and offer testing for uninsured individuals.

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policy

CDC releases a COVID-19 health equity strategy, and FDA shares options for screening substitutions amid supply issues.

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The initiative is expected to produce recommendations that will form the foundation of a comprehensive, member-driven plan of action on structural racism.

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Rep. John Lewis championed the mission-driven work of essential hospitals and steadfastly supported policies to safeguard their service to vulnerable patients, communities, and the health care safety net.

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policy

HHS finalized a rule overhauling the ACA to remove some nondiscrimination protections for transgender individuals and requirements for treating people with limited English proficiency. In a statement, the association said the decision puts the health and safety of vulnerable populations at risk.

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state-action

New York will require the state health department to conduct a study on the health impact of COVID-19 on minority populations. A new data and visualization tool released by John Hopkins University provides insight on the effect of state stay-at-home and recovery policies across the U.S.

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policy

American Indian and Alaska Native populations have been hit particularly hard by the COVID-19 public health crisis. America’s Essential Hospitals outlines the unprecedented challenges the pandemic has posed to these communities and the efforts Congress and providers have made to mitigate its effect.

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policy

The Department of Health and Human Services finalized a rule overhauling parts of the Affordable Care Act to remove nondiscrimination protections for transgender individuals and certain language access requirements for providing health care services to people with limited English proficiency.

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state-action

Illinois is the first state to extend Medicaid coverage to low-income residents ages 65 and older, regardless of immigration status, due to the COVID-19 public health crisis. Meanwhile, Pennsylvania heightened security measures to protect staff and providers against the spread of COVID-19.

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state-action

Several states have created task forces to examine racial disparities related to COVID-19. A new tracker shows which states have stay-at-home orders or plans to resume elective procedures. States have authority to allocate CARES Act funding how they see fit, and several states have begun to do so.

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state-action

This State Policy Snapshot summarizes how states are turning to emergency Medicaid authority to provide coverage of COVID-19 services for specific populations, such as individuals who would qualify for public assistance if not for their immigration status.

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policy

HHS clarifies HIPAA rules for media; FDA tightens antibody testing rules and approves a home saliva test; the Missouri Hospital Association studies COVID-19 and race in St. Louis.

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institute

Build Healthy Places Network is surveying community development corporations about their work with health care partners to improve health in marginalized communities; the survey is due Feb. 7.

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policy

The court struck down parts of the law that explicitly prohibit discrimination based on gender identity and termination of pregnancy.

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policy

America’s Essential Hospitals expressed concern that changes to nondiscrimination protections will decrease access and worsen outcomes for vulnerable patients, including transgender individuals and individuals with limited English proficiency.

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state-action

A recent issue brief profiles states that use data to identify and reduce health disparities in Medicaid managed care programs and offers a step-by-step strategy for states interested in similar initiatives.

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policy

The rule would eliminate protection from discrimination in health care settings based on gender identity and roll back requirements to notify individuals with limited English proficiency of antidiscrimination policies and access to translation services.

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policy

A House letter calling for a delay of Medicaid disproportionate share hospital payment cuts has 178 bipartisan signatures; the deadline to sign is May 3. A House committee holds the first congressional hearing on the Medicare for All Act.

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institute

Communities served by essential hospitals experience a disproportionate prevalence of transportation barriers. This challenge creates an opportunity for essential hospitals, in conjunction with state policy levers, to help mitigate such barriers.

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Essential Insights

Essential hospitals nationwide work to make their facilities more inclusive for all. The MetroHealth System, in Cleveland, launched its Pride and Kidz Pride clinics to offer an array of services to lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and queer or questioning patients of all ages.

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Essential Insights

Essential hospitals have long shown a commitment to care for lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and queer or questioning patients. The 2016 mass shooting at Pulse in Orlando spurred a concerted effort at Temple University Health System, in Philadelphia, to create a more inclusive environment.

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Essential Insights

Coders, game designers, and data professionals joined health economists and health policy experts to create data-driven solutions for health care inequities during the inaugural National Health Equity Hackathon.

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institute

Applications are open for two projects of particular interest to essential hospitals: the Systems for Action research program and the Culture of Health Prize.

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Essential Insights

Essential hospitals improve population health through innovative approaches to address the social determinants of health and promote community-integrated health care. Several presentations on population health at VITAL2018, our annual meeting, highlighted key insights from population health leaders.

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institute

The year-long intensive program, offered by the Center for Community Investment, trains rising executives in the leadership skills needed to help disadvantaged communities.

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Essential Insights

Two Essential Women's Leadership Academy alumnae reflect on their experiences in this biennial training program that builds empowered hospital executives.

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institute

The fellowship, based at Harvard University, is designed to prepare physician-leaders to improve health system capacity and promote policies and practices to improve access to care for minority, disadvantaged, and vulnerable populations.

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quality

The new road map recommends policies and practices providers can adopt to promote health equity and eliminate disparities.

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institute

The study finds urban, nonprofit hospitals recognize the role of health disparities in outcomes, but could use greater incentives to make improvements.

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institute

The campaign focuses on improving health equity, while acknowledging that environment and social factors play a large role in determining health outcomes.

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webinar

How experts at UChicago Medicine are advancing health equity through their CLAS standards assessment and strategic plan.

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policy

The bill is a step toward expanding Project ECHO, an innovative “hub and spoke” education model created at association member University of New Mexico Health Sciences Center.

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quality

The paper includes a framework to achieve health equity, guidance for measuring health equity, and a self-assessment tool for health care organizations.

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Essential Insights

Mike King, author of A Spirit of Charity, spoke with America’s Essential Hospitals about reducing health disparities and changing public perceptions.

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quality

MUSC will launch a minority men’s health center to research the most effective methods for integrating, interpreting, and applying determinants of disease risks and outcomes to precision medicine strategies.

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institute

Researchers found significant health disparities between gay men, bisexual men, and bisexual women, compared with men and women who identified as heterosexual.

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webinar

Learn now this California hospital researched best practices for sexual orientation and gender identity data collection and used it to create a culture of inclusiveness.

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institute

The agency examined existing research on vulnerable populations to provide strategies for reducing health disparities.

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webinar

A web forum series cosponsored by America's Essential Hospitals features a presentation on addressing the key social determinants of health through partnerships.

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quality

The rule carries out Affordable Care Act protections for individuals in federally funded health programs and sets new requirements for supporting people with limited English proficiency.

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policy

Lawmakers are in recess this week following failure of the House to pass a bipartisan budget resolution. Last week, House and Senate committees tackled opioids, disparities, and mental health.

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policy

Lawmakers continue negotiations to respond to the president’s request for $1.9 billion in emergency funding. Also this week, an expert from association member The University of Chicago Medicine will participate in a Capitol Hill forum on minority health disparities.

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policy

The release marks the first time CMS has provided MA beneficiary experience data stratified by race and ethnicity.

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institute

Updated: Annals of Surgery article covering the impact of patient socioeconomic status on operative mortality.

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quality

Hospitals that perform well in quality programs—despite serving high levels of vulnerable patients—invest in health equity, data, collaborative partnerships, patient engagement, and more.

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quality

Four new programs open to providers in various settings to focus on Interdisciplinary research, health policy research, clinical scholars, and culture of health.

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institute

The Essential Hospitals Institute has compiled a compendium of tools that might be useful to essential providers as they pursue health equity goals.

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quality

Hospitals should stratify data and reduce language barriers to improve equity, thought leaders say in new report.

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Thought leaders recommend stratifying data by socioeconomic and other characteristics, and reducing language barriers to improve health care equity.

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quality

The guide focuses on reducing readmissions for racial and ethnic minority groups and is part of the CMS Equity Plan for Improving Quality in Medicare.

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quality

National Academies of Sciences Feb. 4 round table in Washington, DC, will explore population health in the context of racial and ethnic disparities and health equity.

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policy

The proposed rule extends nondiscrimination provisions to individuals based on sex, sexual orientation, and gender identity. The proposed rule also includes requirements for access for people with disabilities and limited English proficiency.

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policy

The CMS Equity Plan aims to reduce disparities in health care over the next four years for populations including racial and ethnic minorities, sexual and gender minorities, people with disabilities, and people living in rural areas.

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policy

Document, developed by association's policy advisory committee, demonstrates essential hospitals' commitment to and promotion of care equity, and supports risk adjustment for sociodemographic status in certain quality improvement measures

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