The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) recognizes that all beneficiaries should be able to achieve their highest level in care and works to ensure that disparities in health care quality and access are eliminated. Starting in 2018, CMS will recognize an organization that is demonstrating a similar commitment to health equity by reducing disparities among the CMS beneficiaries they serve, particularly among racial and ethnic minorities, individuals with disabilities, sexual and gender minorities, and those living in rural areas. This award will celebrate the awardee’s work, shining a light on their leadership and providing others with an example of a successful approach to reducing disparities.

Please read the criteria and complete one Nomination Form per nominee for the NEW CMS Health Equity Award, to be given at Quality Conference 2018. All Nomination Forms are due to Alex Bryden ( no later than Wednesday, January 24th, 2018.

All CMS partner/stakeholder organizations at the organizational level, including QIN-QIOs, HIINs, Hospitals, State Medicaid Agencies, Health Plans, Model Participants, Provider Groups, and all other partners.

One entity will be awarded in the first year; additional awards may be made in the future.

The award will go to an organization doing work over past year (January 1st, 2017 through December 31st, 2017) to advance health equity who can demonstrate results. The successful organization will be reducing disparities in health care quality, access, or outcomes for a priority population, including: racial and ethnic minorities, individuals with disabilities, sexual and gender minorities, or individuals living in rural areas. Suggested areas of improvement in disparities measures might be related, but are not limited to, CMS Quality Strategy priorities, including: 1) Make Care Safer by Reducing Harm; 2) Strengthen Person and Family Engagement; 3) Promote Effective Communication and Coordination of Care; 4) Promote Effective Prevention and Treatment of Chronic Disease; 5) Work with Communities to Promote Best Practices of Healthy Living; and 6) Make Care Affordable.

The CMS Office of Minority Health will receive recommendations from CMS leadership, program and policy staff, and CORs for organizations that have already shown us measurable results to reduce a disparity, improve access, quality, or outcomes for a priority population. A committee of staff from across CMS involved in work on health equity will vet candidates and submit recommendations to CCSQ and CMS OMH front offices for consideration/approval. The selection process will become more formal in future years.

The award will be given at the CMS Quality Conference, 2018. The awardee will receive national recognition by CMS and peers for their work through various CMS communication channels.

Click here for the nomination form (please note the deadline has been extended to 1/24). Please feel free to share with others. Rural is included as a priority population.

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