The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services today presented a 2020 CMS Health Equity Award to Atrium Health, formerly known as Carolinas HealthCare System, for its efforts to reduce racial and ethnic disparities in colorectal cancer screening rates. Through a redesign of its electronic medical record, the Charlotte, N.C.-based health care organization transformed the way it collects demographic data; and created a tool that stratifies data related to mortality, diabetes, hypertension, colorectal cancer screening and high-risk medications by race and ethnicity, gender and location, CMS said. 

“This data was used to implement a number of culturally appropriate interventions at the primary care practice and community levels, including a phone call campaign and working with a Spanish-language newspaper, which resulted in an additional 200 screenings and the detection of some cancers at earlier stages,” the agency said. "As a result, from 2018 to 2019, Atrium Health closed the disparity of colorectal screenings for Hispanic males compared to the overall screening rate for males from 9.4 percentage points to 3.5 percentage points, reducing the disparity by 62.7 percent.”

Atrium Health President and CEO Gene Woods served as AHA board chair in 2017. 
 

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