Category: Healthcare Disparities

New Priorities and Goals Planned for ESRD Stakeholders

The Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) National Quality Strategy (NQS) is a national effort to align public- and private-sector stakeholders to achieve better health and healthcare for all Americans. It was developed “through a transparent and collaborative process with input from a range of stakeholders. More than 300 groups, organizations, and individuals, representing all sectors of the health care industry and the general public, provided comments.”

The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) contracts with End Stage Renal Disease (ESRD) Networks to implement the NQS principles and HHS Secretary’s priorities in the ESRD community. Starting in December 2017, Networks will launch a set of new quality improvement activities, data reporting requirements, and educational programs that reflect updated priorities and goals.

HHS Secretary’s Priorities

  1. Reform, Strengthen, and Modernize the Nation’s Health Care System
  2. Protect the Health of Americans Where They Live, Learn, Work, and Play
  3. Strengthen the Economic and Social Well-Being of Americans Across the Lifespan
  4. Foster Sound, Sustained Advances in the Sciences
  5. Promote Effective and Efficient Management and Stewardship

CMS Goals

  1. Empower patients to make decisions about their health care
  2. Usher in a new era of state flexibility and local leadership
  3. Support innovative approaches to improve quality, accessibility, and affordability
  4. Improve the CMS customer experience

Resources to Help Reduce Healthcare Disparities in Vulnerable Populations

CMS has established programs and educational resources to promote the reduction of healthcare disparities in the medically vulnerable patient population. The CMS Equity Plan for Medicare aims to help healthcare practitioners take action to reduce disparities among minority populations.

“The Office of Minority Health’s (OMH) vision is to eliminate disparities in healthcare quality and access and to help all CMS beneficiaries achieve their highest level of health.” The ESRD Networks, QIO Program, and CMS have made several resources available to support these efforts.

Please click here to access resources that will help staff members better understand how to collect, measure, and reduce disparities in healthcare outcomes. Also included are success stories and best practices for reducing health disparities that can be leveraged by practitioners and care partners.