During April, the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services Office of Minority Health (CMS OMH) is recognizing National Minority Health Month and celebrating the office’s accomplishments since its creation in 2010. CMS OMH serves as the principal health equity advisor to CMS, working with local and federal partners to eliminate health care disparities while improving the health of all minority populations, including racial and ethnic minorities, people with disabilities, members of the lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and queer (LGBTQ+) community, individuals with limited English proficiency, and rural populations.
This year, CMS OMH is looking back on it accomplishments to inform our efforts to move forward and further advance health equity for all Americans. We can’t achieve health equity alone.
Join us in honoring National Minority Health Month by learning more about 10 highlights from the past decade:
- Mapping Medicare Disparities (MMD) Tool is an interactive map designed to identify areas of disparities between subgroups of Medicare beneficiaries (e.g., racial and ethnic groups) in health outcomes, utilization, and spending. The MMD Tool now celebrates 5 years of helping to identify and map disparities in the Medicare population.
- CMS Equity Plan for Improving Quality in Medicare provides an action-oriented, results-driven path for achieving health equity by focusing on populations that experience disproportionately high burdens of disease, worse quality of care, and barriers to accessing care.
- From Coverage to Care (C2C)helps everyone understand their health coverage and can connect patients to primary care and the preventive services.
- Connected Care: The Chronic Care Management (CCM) Resource raises awareness of the benefits of CCM for patients with multiple chronic conditions and provides health care professionals with resources to implement CCM.
- Minority Research Grant Program supports researchers at minority serving institutions that are exploring how CMS can better meet the health care needs of racial and ethnic minorities, people with disabilities, sexual and gender minorities, and rural populations.
- Health Equity Technical Assistance helps organizations ready to systematically take action on health disparities.
- Social Determinants of Health are factors outside of the care we receive that can play a role in our health. CMS addresses social determinants of health through its Accountable Health Communities Model.
- Stratified Reporting includes information for targeting quality improvement activities and resources, monitoring health and drug plan performance, and advancing interventions and strategies.
- As part of CMS’s Rural Health Strategy, the Rural-Urban Disparities in Health Care in Medicare Report describes rural-urban differences in health care experiences and clinical care received nationally in 2019. This work has also looked at maternal health in rural areas, to look at improving maternal health outcomes in rural areas.
- Sickle Cell Disease disproportionately impacts Black and Hispanic Americans. CMS has released reports that assess the prevalence of the disease among Medicare beneficiaries as well as pain management.
Look for more information soon about a virtual forum hosted by CMS OMH, The Road to Equity: Examining Structural Racism in Health Care.
CMS OMH is also taking time during National Minority Health Month to highlight the disproportionate impact COVID-19 has had on racial and ethnic minorities and emphasizing the importance of vaccination. Below you will find a list of resources that providers can share with their patients:
- View COVID-19 Vaccine Resources where you will find Federal resources for health care professionals, partners and patients. We have also compiled a list of resources in additional languages.
- Visit cms.gov/omhcovid19 to find Federal resources to assist those who work with the populations most vulnerable to COVID-19. Partners and organizations are also encouraged to download and share C2C COVID-19 resources to help everyone remain healthy during this public health emergency. Access these resources and shareable graphics at go.cms.gov/c2ccovid19.