The Root Cause Coalition Supports Equality in Medicare and Medicaid Treatment Act of 2019

WASHINGTON, DC – The Root Cause Coalition supports Congressman John Lewis’ Equality in Medicare and Medicaid Treatment Act of 2019 (H.R.3910). The bill would require the Center for Medicare and Medicaid Innovation (CMMI) to test and implement new payment models that expand access to care, especially in regard to minority and rural communities. It would also require CMMI to include other federal offices with expertise in health disparities and social determinants of health in the development process of these new models.

With the Equality in Medicare and Medicaid Treatment Act, the consequences of new payment models could be researched and adjusted accordingly so that health disparities can be minimized, and health outcomes can be improved for patients across the spectrum of race and geography. Reducing health disparities among underserved communities is a key issue for The Root Cause Coalition. We fully support this legislation as written.

“The Coalition is dedicated to promoting policies that seek to better understand and study the impact that social determinants of health have on health outcomes and costs,” said Barbara Petee, Executive Director of The Root Cause Coalition. “This act aligns with our objective to ensure that all communities have access to affordable, comprehensive and high-quality healthcare that addresses an individual’s physical, behavioral and other health-related needs.”

The Root Cause Coalition counts among its members local and national health equity organizations as well as major healthcare providers whom work directly to resolve avoidable, chronic health conditions. The Coalition’s position on the legislation represents a confluence of expert opinion that cuts across sectors, states and services.

This bill will assist the efforts of healthcare and other aligned sectors in changing the health delivery system to recognize the importance of social determinants of health and their impact on health outcomes, as well as healthcare costs. Allowing payment flexibility for providers to concentrate on all the needs of their patients will increase access to care and make for healthier communities.