An article in the July 2019 issue of Health Affairs, “A National Examination Of Long-Term Care Setting, Outcomes, And Disparities Among Elderly Dual Eligibles,” relayed findings from a national study on home and community-based services (HCBS) use and outcomes among dual-eligible beneficiaries. The study found that the racial/ethnic disparities in access to high-quality institutional long-term … Read more

The National Institute on Minority Health and Health Disparities (NIMHD), part of the National Institutes of Health, is launching the Transdisciplinary Collaborative Centers (TCC) for Health Disparities Research on Chronic Disease Prevention program. This program responds to the need for more robust, ecological approaches to address chronic diseases among racial and ethnic minority groups, under-served … Read more

A December 2015 Health Affairs study of freestanding Skilled Nursing Facilities (SNFs) from 2001 thru 2011 found that registered nurses (RNs) were less likely to work at nursing homes with high concentrations of racial and ethnic minorities.[1] This study reports on significant health disparities for racial and ethnic minority SNF residents. In the Health Affairs … Read more

Low income racial and ethnic minority beneficiaries are adversely affected by prescription drug pricing, a problem that has a negative impact on overall Medicare program costs.  A 2011 International Journal of Health Services study estimates that the economic costs of health disparities due to race for African Americans, Asian Americans, and Latinos from 2003 thru … Read more

On September 8, 2015, the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) Office of Minority Health (CMS OMH) introduced an Equity Plan for Improving Quality in Medicare.  Aimed at eliminating health disparities experienced by underserved populations, the plan focuses on six priority areas and seeks to reduce health disparities in four years. A Press Release … Read more

Each year, the Department of Health and Human Services Office of Minority Health uses the month of April to raise awareness about persistent racial disparities that exist in access to health care and health outcomes. This year's theme, Prevention is Power: Taking Action for Health Equity, emphasizes the critical role of prevention in reducing health … Read more

New SSA Rules on Gender Designation Last week, the Social Security Administration (SSA) published new rules that make it easier for the estimated 700,000 transgender Americans to update their Social Security records to reflect their gender designation. Prior to the new rules, individuals were required to submit documentation of specific surgeries in order to have … Read more

Recently, a bipartisan group of Senators unveiled a plan to overhaul our nation's immigration system, a key portion of which aims to provide a pathway to citizenship for the 11 million undocumented immigrants living in the United States, including older immigrants. Access to affordable health care is a serious issue for lawfully present and undocumented … Read more

March is Women's History Month, honoring generations of women who have made, and are making, invaluable contributions to society. The Medicare program has been a critical lifeline for American women and their families for decades, contributing to lower poverty rates and providing health and economic security. Because women constitute the majority of beneficiaries on Medicare, … Read more

"Patients should pay more for their health care." Both Republicans and Democrats, including President Obama, promote policies to increase patients' costs as a solution to curbing the use of "inappropriate" health care services and controlling health care costs.  The President's plan for deficit reduction refers to this idea as creating incentives for the use of … Read more

A major public policy goal in the United States is "rebalancing" the long-term care system – reducing what was formerly, for many people, a near-total reliance on nursing facilities and increasing the use of home and community-based alternatives.  While rebalancing has begun to change the long-term care system, its benefits have not been equally shared.  … Read more