September 28, 2022

CMS RFI – Health Care Access

ACEP is working on responding to a CMS request for information (RFI) about accessing healthcare and related challenges, understanding provider experiences, advancing health equity, and assessing the impact of waivers and flexibilities provided in response to the COVID-19 Public Health Emergency (PHE). They are requesting Social EM Section input on one of the topics in particular, Topic 3: Advancing Health Equity. The questions are as follows: 

CMS wants to further advance health equity across our programs by identifying and promoting policies, programs, and practices that may help eliminate health disparities. We want to better understand individual and community-level burdens, health-related social needs (such as food insecurity and inadequate or unstable housing), and recommended strategies to address health inequities, including opportunities to address social determinants of health and burdens impairing access to comprehensive quality care. Example responses may include, but are not limited to:

  • Identifying CMS policies that can be used to advance health equity:
    • Recommendations for CMS focus areas to address health disparities and advance health equity, particularly policy and program requirements that may impose challenges to the individuals CMS serves and those who assist with delivering healthcare services;
    • Recommendations on how CMS can better promote and support accommodations, including those from providers and health plans, for people with disabilities and/or language needs or preferences;
    • Input on how CMS might encourage mitigating potential bias in technologies or clinical tools that rely on algorithms, and how to determine that the necessary steps have been taken to mitigate bias. For example, input on how we might mitigate potential bias with clinical tools that have included race and ethnicity, sex/gender, or other relevant factors. Further, input on potential policies to prevent and/or mitigate potential bias in technology, treatments or clinical tools that rely on clinical algorithms.
    • Input on how CMS coverage and payment policies impact providers, suppliers, and patients, especially in the treatment of chronic conditions and the delivery of substance use disorder and mental healthcare, including individuals who are dually eligible for Medicare and Medicaid; and
    • Feedback on enrollment and eligibility processes, including experiences with enrollment and opportunities to communicate with eligible but unenrolled populations.
  • Understanding the effects on underserved and underrepresented populations when community providers leave the community or are removed from participation with CMS programs.
  • Recommendations for how CMS can promote efficiency and advance health equity through our policies and programs.

If you have any feedback/input, please send those to Erin Grossmann and Jeffrey Davis.

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