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CMS & NCQA Release New NCQA-developed Toolkit to Improve Care for Minority Populations

Toolkit provides practical solutions to improve health care access and delivery

WASHINGTON, DC—The National Committee for Quality Assurance (NCQA) announced today the release of a toolkit to help minorities and at-risk populations receive better health care and improve health equity: “A Practical Guide to Implementing the National CLAS Standards: For Racial, Ethnic and Linguistic Minorities, People with Disabilities and Sexual and Gender Minorities.” NCQA developed the toolkit under a contract with the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) Office of Minority Health (OMH).

Racial and ethnic minorities, people with limited English proficiency, sexual and gender minorities and people with disabilities generally have less access to health care and worse health outcomes. The toolkit has easy-to-navigate resources for health care providers—plans, hospitals, providers and others—to support the overall health and care of these populations.

“Since 2010, CMS OMH and NCQA have worked to highlight the need to improve culturally and linguistically appropriate services (CLAS) and reduce health care disparities,” stated Margaret O'Kane, President of NCQA. “We applaud the efforts of CMS OMH to make this toolkit available that offers practical CLAS-related resources for use by health care providers.”

“Health disparities still pose significant challenges for individuals and the American health system, even as monumental shifts continue to show improved access and quality of care,” said Adam Swanson, Senior Prevention Specialist of the Suicide Prevention Resource Center and participant on the toolkit advisory panel. “[The] NCQA and CMS OMH new toolkit was built to empower health systems and leaders with dozens of vetted resources that can be used to inform and help implement new approaches aimed at achieving health equity with all communities and populations.”

This toolkit furthers NCQA’s work to reduce health care disparities and make quality health care accessible to all. Access the full toolkit here.

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