CMS Health Equity Metric May Exacerbate Disparities in Some Areas

April 18, 2023

The Area Deprivation Index (ADI) is a metric that assesses the socioeconomic conditions of an area to determine if it is deemed disadvantaged. The US Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) uses the ADI in new payment models that reward providers for serving disadvantaged areas to promote health equity efforts. However, many areas have wealthy people living in close proximity to poorer communities, skewing results and precluding many disadvantaged communities from these initiatives.

According to Politico, “Predominantly Black neighborhoods in southeast Washington, D.C., have high rates of poverty and low life expectancy, but the ADI remains relatively low, according to a recent article in Health Affairs, which found that under CMS’ policy, ‘no neighborhood in Washington, DC, would be considered disadvantaged.’”

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(Source: Politico, April 18th, 2023)

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