There has been an important and ongoing effort over the past decade to address the manifest failures of our health care system by changing payment and provider organization to reward value and not volume. But transformation efforts largely ignore one of our system’s most fundamental problems: persistent, extensive, severe, and costly health and health care inequities based on race, ethnicity, and geography, among other factors.
The Medicare Access and CHIP Reauthorization Act (MACRA) is the biggest change to how Medicare pays for services in decades. It will accelerate the movement towards value-based payments—where what health care providers get paid depends, at least partially, on the quality of care they provide, not just the volume of services. On June 27, Families USA submitted comments about how the law will be implemented.
For those of us engaged in the daily work of bending the arc of history toward justice, the last few weeks have pierced us to our core.
As health equity advocates, the very heart of our vocation is a shared belief that every single human being has the right to live a healthy life—a right that must be supported with resources and concrete action.
As a companion piece to our monthly roundoup of notable health equity news, we have compiled a list of our favorite new resources, events you should know about, and job openings from around the country.
In addition to our monthly roundup of notable health equity news, we have compiled a list of our favorite new resources, events you should know about, and job openings.
New Health Equity Resources
CMS Rejects Ohio's Request for Harsh Policies in Its Medicaid Program, Dee Mahan and Erica Turret, Families USA
Last Wednesday, the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) released a proposed rule to implement key provisions of the Medicare Access & CHIP Reauthorization Act. Passed with bipartisan support in 2015, MACRA represents is an important opportunity to improve the quality of care delivered through Medicare. Given the number of people who are enrolled in Medicare and the number of providers who see Medicare patients, these changes will have a significant impact throughout the entire health care system.
A new bill in Congress offers a vision for what Congress could achieve if it were truly committed to ending health disparities. In the current political environment, we don’t anticipate Congress will act any time soon on the Health Equity and Accountability Act of 2016 (HEAA), sponsored by Rep. Robin Kelly of Illinois.
But in the meantime, health equity advocates can look to the HEAA for ideas about concrete policy solutions they could potentially pursue through other avenues, including state legislative or regulatory action.
June brought us some encouraging highs and devastating lows in the world of health justice. This month, we remember the lives cut short in the Orlando shooting, who were mostly young LGBTQ people of color, and reflect on the health equity dimensions of the attack. On the positive side, we also have some progress to celebrate.
Thanks to new regulations released by the Obama administration last month, the right to receive health care without discrimination is stronger than ever before. Health justice and health equity advocates across the nation celebrated the long-awaited release of the regulations implementing Section 1557 of the Affordable Care Act.