In this episode of the Diagnosing Health Care Podcast: Under the Biden administration, the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services published a health equity framework that drastically changed the playing field for health plans and other risk-bearing entities.
In the wake of these changes, how can health plans, accountable care organizations, and other similar stakeholders successfully create and administer social determinants of health interventions as a means to advance health equity?
On this episode, Epstein Becker Green attorneys Jackie Selby, Kevin Malone, and Marjorie Scher discuss the recent national focus on health equity, the actionable interventions behind the concept, and the responsibility of stakeholders in making care delivery more equitable.
The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (“CMS”) is using its annual rulemaking process to update the CMS payment system rules for fiscal year (“FY”) 2024 as a mechanism to advance health equity systematically across various CMS payment programs. Specifically, CMS is incorporating proposals to advance health equity in its proposed payment rules for inpatient hospitals and long-term care hospitals, skilled nursing facilities, inpatient psychiatric facilities, and hospices, and in the final rate announcement for the Medicare Part C and Part D programs for FY 2024. Significantly, in several instances, CMS is requesting comments, which opens the door for providers to share their input about relevant considerations. This CMS initiative is consistent with key components that were detailed in CMS’s “Framework for Health Equity,” the agency’s 10-year plan to “remedy systemic barriers to equity so that every one [CMS] serve[s] has a fair and just opportunity to attain their optimal health regardless of race, ethnicity, disability, sexual orientation, gender identity, socioeconomic status, geography, preferred language, or other factors that affect access to care and health outcomes.” This post outlines the changes being proposed by CMS, as well as highlights opportunities where providers should consider preparing and submitting comments.
The Joint Commission, one of the leading accrediting organizations of health care entities, recently announced significant updates to require that health care organizations invest in their health equity promotion infrastructure and The Joint Commission’s intention to acknowledge those organizations with more robust health equity initiatives and programs.
Effective January 1, 2023, The Joint Commission implemented new and revised standards for hospitals, ambulatory health care organizations, and behavioral health care organizations aimed at reducing health care disparities.
Most significantly, The Joint Commission added a new standard, LD.04.03.08, to the Leadership (LD) chapter. This standard provides: “Reducing health care disparities for the [organization’s] [patients] is a quality and safety priority.” The new standard, which applies to all hospitals and certain ambulatory health care organizations and behavioral health care organizations, has the following six elements of performance:
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