CMS Proposes Policies to Advance Health Equity and Maternal Health in Hospitals

The U.S. Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) this week issued a proposed rule for inpatient and long-term hospitals, seeking to include three health-equity focused measures in hospital quality programs, solicit stakeholder input related to documenting social determinants of health in inpatient claims data, and establish a “Birthing-Friendly” hospital designation.

CMS’ proposed health-equity measures for the Hospital Inpatient Quality Reporting (IQR) Program are intended to assess a hospital’s commitment to establishing a culture of equity and delivering more equitable health care by capturing activities across multiple domains, including strategic planning, data collection and analysis, quality improvement, and leadership engagement. Additional measures are intended to capture screening and identification of patient-level, health-related social needs, such as food insecurity, housing instability, transportation needs, and more.

Additional details on the CMS-proposed rule is available here.