In April, 2010 the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services Office of Minority Health (CMS OMH) was established. It's main goal is to serve 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.
The problem of racial and ethnic health care disparities is highlighted in various statistics, some examples provided by the ACP:
Minorities have less access to health care than whites. The level of insurance for Hispanics is 34% compared with 13% among whites.
Native Americans and Native Alaskans more often lack prenatal care in the first trimester.
Nationally, minority women are more likely to avoid a doctor’s visit due to cost.
Racial and ethnic minority Medicare beneficiaries diagnosed with dementia are 30% less likely than whites to use antidementia medications.
the CMS OMH provides helpful resources to physicians and organizations can take advantage to increased access to quality health care for all, regardless of race, ethnicity, socioeconomic status, or other factors.
Determine The Level of Disparities In Your Area
Using the Mapping Medicare Disparities Tool provides a user friendly way to explore and better understand disparities in chronic diseases, and allows users to visualize health outcome measures at a national, state, or county level and explore health outcome measures by age, race and ethnicity, and sex.
Provide Translated Resources
Patients with a limited English proficiency should be provided with a translator when possible to eliminate the language barrier. CMS provides translated handouts and resources for patients and physicians. Look under the resources tab to open the clinicians folder to access the translated resources.
Coverage to Care (C2C) is an initiative, developed by the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services, to help everyone understand their health coverage and connect to primary care and the preventive services that best fits the patient. Multiple resources and videos available in multiple languages that will help patients with limited English proficiencies.
Together we can improve the healthcare outcomes of every patient.
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