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CMS releases guide to preventing readmissions among racially and ethnically diverse Medicare beneficiaries

Today, the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services Office of Minority Health (CMS OMH), released a new Guide to Preventing Readmissions among Racially and Ethnically Diverse Medicare Beneficiaries.

The Guide was developed in collaboration with the Disparities Solutions Center at Massachusetts General Hospital and the National Opinion Research Center (NORC) at the University of Chicago as part of the CMS Equity Plan for Improving Quality in Medicare, and is designed to assist hospital leaders and stakeholders focused on quality, safety, and care redesign in identifying root causes and solutions for preventing avoidable readmissions among racially and ethnically diverse Medicare beneficiaries.

“CMS has an important opportunity and a critical role in preventing hospital readmissions while promoting health equity among diverse Medicare beneficiaries,” said Cara James, Director of CMS’s Office of Minority Health. “This Guide encourages action-oriented steps and solutions in achieving health equity, addresses reducing readmissions and focuses on our initiative of achieving better care, smarter spending, and healthier people throughout our health care system.”

Racial and ethnic minority populations are more likely than their white counterparts to be readmitted within 30 days of discharge for certain chronic conditions, such as heart failure, heart attack, and pneumonia, among others. Social, cultural, and linguistic barriers contribute to these higher readmission rates.

The Guide provides:

  • New, action-oriented guidance for addressing avoidable readmissions in this population by providing an overview of the issues related to readmissions for diverse Medicare beneficiaries;
  • A set of seven key recommendations that hospital leaders can take to prevent avoidable readmissions in this population;
  • Concrete examples of initiatives and strategies that may be applied to reduce readmissions in diverse populations.

To learn more about the Readmissions Guide and key recommendations, visit