CMS Invites You to Submit Presentation Proposals

Announcing the first CMS Health Equity Conference to be held June 7-8, 2023

The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services, CMS, will host the inaugural CMS Health Equity Conference on June 7 - 8, 2023. The conference will convene leaders in health equity from federal agencies, health provider organizations, academia, community-based organizations, and others, both in person and virtually. Conference attendees will have the opportunity to hear the most up-to-date research on health equity, discuss promising practices and innovative solutions, collaborate on community engagement efforts, and share lessons learned.

CMS is now accepting presentation proposals.

A main objective of the conference is to highlight the latest health equity research, initiatives, and best practices.

CMS invites the submission of presentation proposals. Authors of the selected proposals will be invited to present their research on a topic-specific panel and in the poster gallery at the conference. Proposals will be accepted beginning February 27th, 2023, and early submissions are encouraged.

A webinar on submitting proposals will be held on March 16th from 12-1pm EDT. Please register for the webinar by clicking this link.

What should the proposals focus on?

All proposals should be aligned with the CMS Framework for Health Equity 2022-2032. The Framework sets foundation and priorities for CMS’s work strengthening its infrastructure for assessment, creating synergies across the health care system to drive structural change, and identifying and working to eliminate barriers to CMS-supported benefits, services, and coverage.

Proposals must focus on one of the Framework’s five priority areas for reducing health disparities:

  • Priority 1: Expanding the Collection, Reporting and Analysis of Standardized Data
    • This could include proposals focused on health disparities data collection, reporting and analysis practices.
  • Priority 2: Assess Causes of Disparities in CMS Programs and Inequities in Policies
    • This could include proposals related to CMS programs that address health equity and disparity reduction.
  • Priority 3: Build Capacity of Healthcare Organizations and the Workforce to Reduce Health Disparities
    • This could include proposals related to CMS models and demonstrations including the Accountable Health Communities model, Community Health Access and Rural Transformation model and the CMS OMH Minority Research Program.
  • Priority 4: Advance Language Access, Health Literacy and Provision of Culturally Tailored Services
    • This could include proposals related to language access, health literacy, health insurance literacy, culturally and linguistically appropriate services (CLAS) standards.
  • Priority 5: Increase All Forms of Accessibility to Health Care Services and Coverage 
    • This could include proposals related specifically to overcoming barriers to entering and navigating health care information and facilities.

Presentations should have a clear link to improving the health status of individuals served by CMS programs, such as members of racial and ethnic communities, people with disabilities, members of the LGBTQI+ community, individuals with limited English proficiency, members of rural communities, Tribal nations, or geographically isolated areas, or persons otherwise adversely affected by persistent poverty or inequality.

How do I submit a presentation proposal?

Proposals must be submitted by email to [email protected] on or before April 14th. Please include “CMS Health Equity Conference Proposals Submission” in the subject line. In your email, please include the following:

  • The full title of your submission. This will be used for printing in the final program.
  • Proposal (max 500 words)
    • Please specify if this is a research abstract, general presentation, or other type of proposal
    • Please specify if you would like to participate in a panel presentation, poster presentation, or both
  • Authors and affiliations
    • You MUST enter the names of ALL authors there – including yourself if you are an author – in the order in which you wish them to appear in the printed text. Please include full name, email, affiliation(s), city, state, and indicate which authors are presenting. At least one author must register to attend and present at the Health Equity Conference. You are encouraged but not required to include a CMS speaker or office as part of your panel or abstract.
    • Please indicate what type of organization authors represent
      • Community organization
      • Healthcare delivery
      • Academia
      • Community Advocate/Policy Advocate
      • Federal, State, or Local Government
      • Other (Please specify)
    • Submissions must be approved by all authors to be submitted.
    • Please indicate the priority/priorities of your proposal submission
      • Priority 1: Expanding the Collection, Reporting and Analysis of Standardized Data
      • Priority 2: Assess Causes of Disparities in CMS Programs and Inequities in Policies
      • Priority 3: Build Capacity of Healthcare Organizations and the Workforce to Reduce Health Disparities 
      • Priority 4: Advance Language Access, Health Literacy and Provision of Culturally Tailored Services 
      • Priority 5: Increase All Forms of Accessibility to Health Care Services and Coverage

Authors will receive a confirmation response by email.

Authors will be notified of acceptance to present their research on a conference panel by April 28th.

Note: All presenters must attend the conference in-person on their assigned date, either June 7th or 8th, 2023. Panel presentations will include three proposal authors, each presenting for 15 minutes, followed by a joint 10-minute question & answer session.

What is the proposal review process?

Proposals will be reviewed, scored, and selected by members of the CMS Heath Equity Conference Committee. Proposals must be aligned with one of the priorities in CMS Framework for Health Equity 2022-2032 and must focus on populations served by CMS programs. The review committee will use the following criteria to evaluate proposals:

  • The proposal falls into the self-designated priority area. A clear connection is made between the work and the priority area.
  • The proposal clearly pertains to one of the populations served by CMS programs.
  • The proposal clearly connects to a CMS program or policy.
  • The author/s have demonstrated knowledge of the subject.
  • The author/s clearly articulate a health equity challenge or opportunity that their proposal addresses.
  • The work shows either a measurable impact or opportunity for improving health equity.
  • The proposal is well written and can clearly be followed.

Authors of proposals accepted by the committee will be notified on or before April 28th. Authors must be available to present on a designated panel in-person at the conference.

Frequently Asked Questions

Conference Logistics:

Who is the intended audience for the conference?

The conference’s audience will include leaders in health equity from federal agencies, health provider organizations, academia, community-based organizations, and others.

How many attendees do you expect?

We are expecting about 450 in-person participants, along with virtual attendees.

Is in-person attendance required for presentation and poster authors?

In-person attendance by at least one author is required for all presentations and posters. Anyone expecting to speak must be in person.

Are there funds available to help cover travel costs for those selected as presenters?

At this time, we are unable to cover travel costs for presenters.

Will registration spots be saved for presenters?

Submitting a proposal does not automatically register you for the conference. Additionally, we cannot reserve spots for presenters. Please register for the conference as early as possible to secure your spot. If your proposal is not selected for the conference and you no longer wish to attend, please let us know so we can cancel your registration.

Submitting Proposals:

Who can submit a proposal?

Our goal is to have a diverse group of perspectives represented from all sectors of work related to health equity. All individuals from federal agencies, health provider organizations, academia, and community-based organizations are encouraged to submit proposals, including policy leaders, data analysts, medical, doctoral, and graduate students, and CMS contractors. However, we cannot accept proposals that are commercial or promotional, proposals with plagiarized research, or proposals with substantive errors.

Can one organization submit multiple proposals?

Yes, one organization or researcher can submit multiple proposals if they cover different topics or priority areas.

What are the word limits for each type of proposal?

Please limit all proposals to 500 words (this has been updated from an earlier guidance of 250 words). Tables and graphs do not count towards this word count, but we ask that materials are kept to a reasonable length. If you originally submitted a proposal meeting the 250-word requirement, you may update that now to be up to 500 words.

Types of Proposals:

What is the difference between the different types of presentations?
  • Upon submitting your proposal, please indicate if you are submitting for a single presentation, panel presentation, or poster.
    • Single presentation: Single presentation submissions consist of a 15-minute presentation and will be combined with two other single presentations related to the same priority area of the CMS Framework for Health Equity to form a 60-minute panel. Each single presentation will be given 15 minutes to present and will participate in a joint 15-minute Q&A/discussion at the end of their session. Single presentations can consist of multiple speakers discussing one topic, but you are limited to the 15 minutes.
    • Panel presentation: Panel submissions should include a list of 2-4 proposed speakers, which may include presenters from the same or multiple organization(s) and may include speakers from CMS, if applicable and joint work. Panels will be given 60 minutes for their presentation, including Q&A.
    • Poster presentation: Lastly, you may submit a proposal to display a poster in our poster gallery during the conference. This would involve attending the conference and answering questions from in-person attendees about the work outlined in the poster during lunch one day and at least one designated 2-hour time slot on the same day. Posters will also be available online for virtual attendees to view.
  • Examples of content include research presentations, case studies, best practice discussions, community perspectives, front line findings, lived experiences, policy insights, and others.
Is there an option for leading a workgroup session?

At this time, workgroup sessions have been filled, and will be led by Federal agencies on several topics and applications. Attendees are welcome to attend these sessions to learn more. Stay tuned for the agenda forthcoming.

Do presentations need to be about published research?
  • Presentations do not need to be previously published. You are welcome to submit research that has already been published or presented; but research submitted should have been conducted within the last ten years or less.
  • Additionally, we are accepting research presentations as well as other types of presentations like case studies, best practice discussions, community perspectives, front line findings, lived experiences, and policy insights. While presentations do not need to reflect CMS-funded work, they should tie to CMS priority areas.
Can proposals be submitted for an ongoing program?

Proposals may be submitted for ongoing programs as long as presentations describe and demonstrate a plan for measuring future health equity outcomes.

Priority Areas:

If an abstract is found to be misaligned with the priority area initially selected, will this misalignment automatically disqualify the proposal from consideration?

While misalignment would not disqualify a proposal from consideration, proposals that have a clear, strong tie to a priority area would receive preference.

Can proposals be aligned with multiple priority areas?

Yes, you may indicate more than one priority area on your submission if your proposal aligns with multiple priority areas. Proposals will be judged against all indicated priority areas.

Do proposals need to explain why the presentation falls under a certain priority area?

No, a strong proposal should have a clearly implied connection to its related priority area.

Panel Presentation Submissions:

How will panels be moderated?

For most sessions, moderators from multiple organizations have been pre-selected to facilitate each panel based on the work they do within each priority area.

For panel presentation submissions, do we need to outline individual presentations within the panel or just the idea for the entire panel?

Please briefly outline each individual presentation within the panel in your 500-word submission. Panel submissions will be reviewed and accepted as a whole.


When we are notified of acceptance, will we also be notified of our presentation date and time?

CMS OMH will notify presenters if their proposal has been selected by April 28, 2023. Presenters will be notified of their confirmed presentation date and time by May 5, 2023. Submitters may request a particular day to present their proposal, though these time slots are not guaranteed.

Will you provide proposal-specific feedback on decisions?

Due to a large number of submissions, CMS cannot provide proposal-specific feedback on decisions.

Will presenters have access to videos of their presentations after the conference and, if so, can they be shared publicly?

Recordings of the conference will be uploaded to the CMS OMH website after the conference. Presenters and attendees are encouraged to share conference content as they please.

Who can I contact with more questions?

For additional questions, please contact [email protected].