In order to address racial and ethnic health inequities among Medicare beneficiaries, healthcare organizations must gather better data, provide patients with information in their native tongue and make it easier for people with disabilities to enter healthcare facilities.
Those are some of the top findings in a new report released last week by the CMS.
The report assesses a year's worth of work on implementing the CMS' Equity Plan for Improving Quality in Medicare which the agency launched in September 2015. It's the federal government's first comprehensive approach at targeting health inequities based on race, ethnicity, sexual orientation or gender identity.
“This year was really a building year for us to understand what was out there, where some of the challenges were, and how we can move forward,” said Cara James, director of the CMS' Office of Minority Health, adding that the next step is mapping a plan to address the issues.
The CMS said it already has been working on solutions that include releasing a guide to preventing readmissions among Medicare patients of color and providing resources for standardized collection of data.