Helping CMS Office of Minority Health Advance Health Equity

October 26, 2023 · Andy Reynolds

As we announced on October 23, NCQA has won a $18 million contract from the CMS Office of Minority Health to reduce disparities in health care and increase health equity for disadvantaged populations. The project will run up to 5 years.

A Shared Vision for Health Equity

High-quality care is equitable care.

To put it another way, there can be no quality without equity.

Everyone deserves the best treatment, regardless of their race, gender identity, sexual orientation, financial standing or culture.

This idea aligns with CMS’s vision to:

  • Remove disparities in health care quality and access.
  • Help everyone in CMS programs achieve their highest level of health and well-being.

The new project, called the Health Equity Accelerator, builds on NCQA’s strong foundation of work in health equity, health care quality and health outcomes research, and on our long-standing relationship with CMS OMH.

NCQA supported CMS OMH from 2016–2021 as the main contractor on the Health Equity Innovation Incubator, partnering with The RAND Corporation.

Putting Vision into Practice

With subcontractors RAND and Rainmakers Strategic Solutions, NCQA will help add health equity into the development, evaluation and operation of CMS policies, programs and partnerships.

The major tasks and areas of focus of the Health Equity Accelerator project are:

  • Reduce Disparities and Improving Access and Quality. Assess nonmedical factors that affect health outcomes related to unplanned hospital readmissions; chronic kidney disease; end-stage renal disease; chronic health conditions and preventive services; and chronic and potentially disabling conditions.
  • Reduce Disparities in Mental and Behavioral Health. Analyze mental and behavioral health disparities, including the impact of long COVID.
  • Data-Driven Evidence to Support Policy and Operations. Improve and modernize health equity data; study the influence of artificial intelligence on health equity; and support the CMS Health Equity Data Workgroup.
  • Health Equity Methodologies and Measures. Develop and advance the Health Equity Summary Score and health equity measurement topics.

Our team is excited to put our knowledge and experience to work on these tasks.

Learn more about NCQA initiatives to advance health equity.

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