CMS Rule to Address Health Equity

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The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) is proposing actions to address the health equity gap, ensure consumers have the information they need to make fully informed decisions regarding their healthcare, improve emergency care access in rural communities, and use lessons learned from the COVID-19 pandemic to inform patient care and quality measurements.

"CMS is committed to addressing significant and persistent inequities in health outcomes in the United States and today's proposed rule helps us achieve that by improving data collection to better measure and analyze disparities across programs and policies," said CMS Administrator Chiquita Brooks-LaSure. "We are committed to finding opportunities to meet the health needs of patients and consumers where they are, whether it's by expanding access to onsite care in their communities, ensuring they have access to clear information about health care costs, or enhancing patient safety."

In the portions of the rule related to O&P patient care, CMS is seeking input on ways to make reporting of health disparities based on social risk factors and race and ethnicity more comprehensive and actionable. This includes soliciting comments on potential collection of data and analysis and reporting of quality measure results by a variety of demographic data points.

Noting that since 2010, 138 rural hospitals have closed—disproportionately within communities with a higher proportion of people of color and communities with higher poverty rates, CMS is also seeking feedback to help inform policy proposals for the calendar year 2023 rulemaking cycle.

To read the proposed rule, visit the Federal Register.