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Prioritizing Health Equity With A Strategic Planning Process

Health equity is a federal governmental commitment and funding opportunity through CMS. It's also a requirement for value-based care contracts and a growing aspect of quality metrics. There's a call for provider organizations to shift from hiring health equity executives and making public proclamations to taking strategic policy and operations actions. How can provider organizations hold themselves accountable to adopt strategies that achieve health equity goals in the communities they serve?

How Are States Integrating Health Equity Into Medicaid Programs?

Medicaid covers 20% of Americans and 60% of those covered are from historically marginalized races or ethnicities. This makes it critical that state-based programs embrace health equity and requires more of their contracted health plans and managed care organizations (MCOs). Medicaid influences many categories of payers, types of provider organizations, and how value-based arrangements prioritizes which healthcare services. In part 1 of this article series, we'll explore this topic from the vantage point of the NCQA's Health Equity Measurement Framework. In part 2, we'll examine how states are incorporating and requiring the adoption of health equity measurement and performance reporting.

The Value Of Prescription Digital Therapeutics (PDTx)

The novel entrant of digital therapeutics (DTx), particularly a subset called prescription digital therapeutics (aka DPT or PDTx), offers value to healthcare organizations beyond their intended use: clinical interventions delivered directly to patients via software to treat, manage, or prevent a disease or disorder. As software that has been cleared by the FDA and validated through real-world evidence, PDTx provides a gateway to benefits critical to value-based care, population health, personalized medicine, health equity, as well as treating rare and hard-to-remedy disorders.

Unwinding From The Public Health Emergency: Medicaid Redetermination & Beyond

State Medicaid directors and their teams have an enormous initiative ahead of them to unwind policies and programs that were instituted as part of the COVID-19 public health emergency (PHE). The Families First Coronavirus Response Act (FFCRA) included a requirement that Medicaid programs maintain continuous coverage through the end of the month when the PHE ends in exchange for enhanced federal funding. While the program has ensured healthcare coverage for previously and newly eligible adults and children for nearly three years, their enrollment could end soon.

How The NIH Is Addressing Health Inequities

In the 30-plus years since the NIH launched the first Office of Minority Health Research (now known as the National Institute on Minority Health and Health Disparities (NIMHD) since 2010), their initiatives have improved inequities in health. For example, efforts by researchers, advocates, and stakeholders reduced the mortality gap in between Black and White people in the US by about half from 1999 to 2015, narrowing from 33% to 16%. Despite improvements, health inequities still exist. These include shorter life expectancy, higher rates of cardiovascular disease, cancer, diabetes, infant mortality, stroke, cognitive impairment, asthma, sexually transmitted infections, dental diseases, and differences in prevalence and outcomes of mental illness.

Digital Health Innovation: Provider And Developer Viewpoints

Health plans and provider organizations are flooded with pitches from digital health companies. Once vetted and purchased, the digital health companies who sold the solution face challenges with integration into clinical care, workflow, and adoption. RTI Health Advance's director of digital health research and advisory services, Brandon Aylward, PhD, connected with colleagues to solicit three different perspectives to top-of-mind questions on the adoption and use of digital health applications and innovation in the industry. To discuss their answers, or your digital health challenges and goals, contact Brandon through RTI Health Advance.

Omnichannel Digital Solutions Deliver Mental Health Services Across Acuity Levels

Digital health solutions can never replace the value of the relationships built between patients and mental health professionals. The consumerism of healthcare and external factors, including the pandemic, influence the face of care delivery and preferences for ways to engage. Omnichannel digital health solutions offer three levels of support that improve behavioral health access, convenience, and a continuum of care. I developed a custom matrix that organizes three types of interventions that can be used across levels of acuity via various digital health channels and tools.

Value-Based Payments & CMS's Vision For 2030

Despite the pandemic's prolonged effect on providers, more healthcare payments flowed through downside risk via alternative payment models (APMs) in 2021 compared to 2020. These APMs included shared savings, bundled payments, and capitation contracts. Medicare had the most downside risk contracts (24%) compared to commercial (12.7%) and Medicaid (16.6%) payers in 2021. Medicare Advantage grew by 6% to 35.2% of payments in upside or downside risk-based APMs. In 2021, commercial (53.7%) and Medic

NIST Labeling Program for Consumer IoT Cybersecurity

There are three areas of criteria for cybersecurity labeling of IoT: The goals of this criteria is to describe desired outcomes, influence purchase decisions, and enforce desirable qualities in IoT security. It includes a set of claims that a software provider makes about their software. The goal of this criteria is to provide recommendations for label form and content, labeling programs, and to encourage consideration of usability. The goal of this criteria is to have manufacturers self-decl

Delivering Equitable Care For Serious Illness

About 40M people in the U.S. experience limitations due to serious illness. Many individuals living with advanced illness receives disjointed, hospital-based care via a patchwork of specialists that may not align with their personal, cultural, religious, or familial goals or preferences. Hospice and palliative medicine (HPM) became a recognized specialty by the American Board of Medical Specialties (ABMS) and the Accreditation Council of Graduate Medical Education (ACGME) in 2006.

What is Supply Chain Risk Management and Security? Why is it a growing priority?

No matter your industry, you rely on a supply chain and/or you’re part of a supply chain. If you create physical products, you’re concerned about the security of the materials you receive as well as what you ship to customers. On the flip side is the cybersecurity of your supply chain. If you create digital products and services, you’re concerned about the security of the software you create or the code you use as part of your software or platform.

How The AMA Is Fighting Racism in Medicine

In 2021, the American Medical Association (AMA) released a report titled, “Organizational Strategic Plan to Embed Racial Justice and Advance Health Equity," detailing their five strategic approaches and ambitious roadmap towards eliminating health inequities rooted in historical and contemporary injustices and discrimination. As the largest association representing American physicians and medical students, this effort, along with more recent and groundbreaking policies, are part of the AMA's acknowledgement of its role in racial injustice and health inequities.
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