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CMS helps hospitals lower Medicare minority readmissions

Minority health office issues new guidelines

woman explaining guide to minority manJan. 26, 2016 - Racial and ethnic minority populations are more likely than their white counterparts to be readmitted within 30 days of discharge for certain chronic conditions, according to the Office of Minority Health at the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services. Today they took steps to help hospital leaders and stakeholders reduce the readmissions.

Heart failure, heart attack, and pneumonia are among the ailments most often involved. And, social, cultural, and linguistic barriers are the primary contributors to these higher readmission rates.

The guides issued today provide:

New, action-oriented guidance for addressing avoidable readmissions in this population by providing an overview of the issues related to readmissions for diverse Medicare beneficiaries;

 

A set of seven key recommendations that hospital leaders can take to prevent avoidable readmissions in this population;

Concrete examples of initiatives and strategies that may be applied to reduce readmissions in diverse populations.

The new Guide to Preventing Readmissions among Racially and Ethnically Diverse Medicare Beneficiaries was developed in collaboration with the Disparities Solutions Center at Massachusetts General Hospital and the National Opinion Research Center (NORC) at the University of Chicago as part of the CMS Equity Plan for Improving Quality in Medicare.

It is designed to assist those focused on quality, safety, and care redesign in identifying root causes and solutions for preventing avoidable readmissions among racially and ethnically diverse Medicare beneficiaries.

“CMS has an important opportunity and a critical role in preventing hospital readmissions while promoting health equity among diverse Medicare beneficiaries,” said Cara James, Director of CMS’s Office of Minority Health.

“This Guide encourages action-oriented steps and solutions in achieving health equity, addresses reducing readmissions and focuses on our initiative of achieving better care, smarter spending, and healthier people throughout our health care system.”

To learn more about the Readmissions Guide and key recommendations, visit https://www.cms.gov/About-CMS/Agency-Information/OMH/Downloads/OMH_Readmissions_Guide.pdf.

Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) Office of Minority Health (OMH) was established as a result of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (ACA). It works to eliminate health disparities and improve the health of all minority populations, including racial and ethnic minorities, people with disabilities, members of the LGBT community, and rural populations.

 

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