Advancing Health Equity

In recognition of National Minority Health Month, this issue of QIO News looks at how the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) and the Quality Improvement Organization (QIO) Program are working to improve health care quality for minority, rural and underserved populations. 

The director of the CMS Office of Minority Health (OMH) discusses the difference between achieving equity and equality, and how CMS OMH is working to close the care quality gap among underserved populations. 
Health care quality leaders nationwide are looking for innovative ways to better serve and care for those in rural communities. Here are three ways to improve access to quality care for rural patients. 
Alaska’s expansive geography poses significant challenges when it comes to providing health care services to Alaska’s citizens. Here’s how Mountain – Pacific Quality Health and Indian Health Service (IHS) networks teamed up to promote antimicrobial stewardship in Alaska’s remote communities. 
Nearly eight percent of Medicare beneficiaries have limited English proficiency. A new guide from the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services’ Office of Minority Health aims to address the potential gaps in care that can result when a patient and provider don’t speak the same language. 
Looking after people with Medicare, especially those with chronic illnesses, can be a major challenge for caregivers. When health care issues arise, Beneficiary and Family Centered Care-Quality Improvement Organizations (BFCC-QIOs) can be a valuable patient advocate. 
Health care quality stakeholders are invited to join the Quality Innovation Network National Coordinating Center on Wednesday, April 11 for the April Medication Safety Learning and Action (LAN) event, which will focus on using a patient-centered approach to safely managing diabetes. 
Did You Know? 
The journal Family and Community Health recently published an article by CMS and the QIO Program’s Quality Innovation Network National Coordinating Center titled​“Estimated Cost Savings in the Everyone with Diabetes Counts Program,” which examines the impact of the program in West Virginia. Click here to read the full article.