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CMS equity for medicare: priority 5

The CMS Equity Plan for Medicare contains 6 priorities

eveloped to advance health equity by improving the quality of care provided to minority and other underserved Medicare beneficiaries. Priority 5 focuses on understanding and raising awareness of barriers to the provision of communication and language access services, and disseminating solutions to enable action from providers to overcome those barriers.

It is often difficult for providers to sift through this information and truly understand exactly how to best communicate with LEP members in their own language and culture. CQ fluency is fully entrenched in both language/cultural issues, and is in tune with CMS to ensure full compliance and effectiveness.

what providers need to understand about priority 5

According to the CMS Equity Plan, “communication should take into account an individual’s social background, including preferred language, health literacy level, culture, and disability status.”  The plan also states that “To improve equity in Medicare quality, we will identify language access needs among beneficiaries with limited English proficiency and persons with disabilities across different care settings, and disseminate best practices that CMS and stakeholders can employ to improve communication and increase language access for the increasingly diverse Medicare population.”

Priority 5 is designed to help increase quality of care by decreasing language and cultural barriers.  For providers this results in a lower cost of caring for members.  As members understand how their healthcare is being administered, compliance improves and benefits are seen such as:

  • Improvement in medication adherence
  • Fewer emergency room visits
  • Consistency in annual checkups and screening

the benefits of priority 5

Besides being the right thing to do and working in the best interests of its members, this results in an increased bottom line through more effective care.  When people are more proactive and involved with their healthcare because they truly understand what is happening, which occurs through communication in their own language and cultural context, they will be healthier and have a reduced need to access their health insurance benefits.

let CQ fluency help

CQ fluency is on the forefront of cross-cultural communication and is able to effectively translate information into the target’s language and culture.  We have a deep understanding of CMS and compliance needs, often working as a communication partner in connecting providers with their LEP members.