A Methodical Approach to Addressing Healthcare Disparities

Disparities Impact Statement PDF tool

Is your organization fully equipped to address healthcare disparity standards?  

Health disparities are a top focus with population health organizations, accreditation standards, and regulatory agencies. This year, The Joint Commission moved its standards on healthcare equity from the leadership section to the National Patient Safety Goals. We have received client requests for tools to address healthcare disparities and methods to document compliance. To assist organizations, the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) released a Disparities Impact Statement tool that has been successfully used for identifying priority areas with an action plan of short-term and long-term goals. You can find the Disparities Impact Statement PDF tool by searching online under “CMS Quality Improvement and Interventions.”

The worksheet tool includes 5 steps: identifying health disparities and priority populations, goal setting, establishing the strategy, determining needs in implementing the strategy, and monitoring/evaluating progress. In working with clients, we noted that the outline of the tool, with clear steps and easy-to-populate sections, is helpful in breaking down a significant project into doable steps.

On the tool, CMS provided an example of implementing a Language Access Plan for patients with limited English proficiency. Developing a language access plan is listed as a short-term goal. Training 90% of staff on the language access plan is listed as a long-term goal. You will also see other examples such as including leadership support under Strategy and guidance on completing the other steps. Using tools like the Disparities Impact Statement can help organizations effectively address disparities through a methodical, quality-focused method.

Please contact us for questions or more information at  704-573-4535 or info@courtemanche-assocs.com.

Courtemanche & Associates specializes in Healthcare Accreditation and Regulatory Compliance Consulting Services. With over 29 years of being in business and 100+ years of healthcare experience amongst our consulting team, we are ready to assist with your accreditation and regulatory compliance needs.

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