HHS: Snapshot – How HHS is Building a Healthier America (2/2) – HHS released a snapshot
of key HHS accomplishments from 2022 that support the health and well-being of everyone living in America, and remains committed to advancing health equity in 2023. Notably, HHS outlines numerous actions taken in 2022 to invest in social determinants of health, including funding 36 communities through CDC to develop cross-sector action plans to prevent and reduce chronic disease among people experiencing health disparities.
HHS: Biden-Harris Administration Awards Nearly $11M to Address Disparities in Cancer Screening and Follow-up Care (2/2) – The Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA) awarded nearly $11 million to 22 HRSA-funded health centers to improve access to life-saving cancer screenings and early detection services for underserved communities. These centers are working to close the cancer screening gap and decrease the impact of preventable cancers.
CMS: CMS Releases 2024 Advance Notice with Proposed Payment Updates for the MA and Part D Programs (2/1) - CMS released the calendar year (CY) 2024 Advance Notice for the Medicare Advantage and Part D Prescription Drug Programs, which proposes changes to payment growth rates and methodologies. Notably, the Advance Notice included Star Rating policies related to health equity, and is seeking feedback on the value of collecting information about unmet health-related social needs and whether plans provided screening and referral related to those needs using the health outcomes survey instrument. CMS will accept comments through March 3, 2023, before publishing the final Rate Announcement by April 3, 2023. Fact Sheet
CMS: HHS Approves California’s Medicaid and CHIP Demonstration Authority for Justice-Involved People (1/26) - CMS approved
California’s Medicaid and CHIP section 1115 demonstration amendment which will provide a set of pre-release services and improve access to care for people returning home from jails and prisons. The state will be able to help connect the person to community-based Medicaid providers 90 days prior to their release to ensure they can continue their treatment after they return to the community.
HHS ASPE: Health Care Transitions for Individuals Returning to the Community from a Public Institution (1/26) – The HHS Office of the Assistant Secretary for Planning and Evaluation (ASPE) released a report
that summarizes the identified practices of the Medicaid Reentry Stakeholder Group and informs design of a demonstration opportunity to improve care transitions for certain individuals who are soon-to-be former inmates of a public institution.
CMS: CMS Accomplishments for 2022 (1/26) - CMS released a summary of highlights of the agency’s accomplishments in 2022. Highlights include efforts to advance health equity, such as the release of the CMS Health Equity Action Plan, Maternity Care Action Plan, and Framework for Health Equity, and other key accomplishments.
SAMHSA: Funding Opportunities for Grants Addressing Substance Misuse, Substance Use Disorder Treatment and Recovery Among Pregnant, Postpartum Women (1/26) – The Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) announced funding opportunities for two grant programs aimed at preventing substance misuse and treating substance use disorder (SUD) among pregnant and postpartum women in the United States. The grant opportunities total $17 million and would aim to improve maternal health and the nation’s addition and overdose crisis.
Department of Veterans Affairs: VA housed more than 40,000 homeless Veterans in 2022 (1/26) – The Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) announced that it permanently housed 40,401 homeless Veterans during 2022. This exceeded the department’s goal to house 38,000 Veterans in 2022 by 6.3 percent. Nationally, the total number of Veterans experiencing homelessness has decreased by 11 percent since January 2020.
White House: Initial Proposals for Revising the Federal Race and Ethnicity Standards (1/26) – The White House Office of Management and Budget (OMB) published an initial set of recommendations to revise OMB’s statistical standards for collecting and reporting race and ethnicity data across Federal agencies. Initial proposals include: collecting race and ethnicity together with a single question; adding a response category for Middle Eastern and North African, separate and distinct from the “White” category; and updating SPD 15’s terminology, definitions, and question wording. Comments are due April 12, 2023.
HHS: Biden-Harris Administration to Launch Summit Series to Advance Asian American, Native Hawaiian, and Pacific Islander Economic Equity (1/26) - HHS announced that the Biden-Harris Administration’s Initiative on Asian Americans, Native Hawaiians, and Pacific Islanders will launch a series of regional economic summits to connect community members directly with federal leaders and resources.
HHS: HHS Awards $139 million for Special Diabetes Program for Indians (1/25) - HHS announced it is investing $139 million for the Fiscal Year 2023 Special Diabetes Program for Indians to provide diabetes prevention and treatment services for American Indian and Alaska Native communities.
White House: Biden-Harris Administration Releases First-Ever Federal Evidence Agenda on LGBTQI+ Equity (1/24) – The Biden Administration released the Federal Evidence Agenda on Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, Queer, and Intersex (LGBTQI+) Equity. The agenda provides a roadmap to help federal agencies ensure they are collecting needed data and evidence to improve the lives of and advance equity for LGBTQI+ Americans. The agenda will also build off the Administration’s work to expand the federal collection of data about sexual orientation, gender identity, and sex characteristics (“SOGI data”).
GAO: HHS Funds Allocated to Support Disproportionately Affected Communities (1/24) - The Government Accountability Office (GAO) released a report which found that HHS provided $75 billion in pandemic relief funding to the CDC, HRSA, Indian Health Service, and Office of Minority Health. These agencies directed $29 billion (over 35 percent) of this funding to programs specifically supporting communities disproportionately affected by COVID-19, and $33 billion to programs with a recommendation that awardees support such communities with the funds.