Studies Examine Insurers’ Collection of Racial/Ethnic Data, Medicare’s Role in Addressing Racial Health Disparities
- "Collection and Use of Race and Ethnicity Data for Quality Improvement," America's Health Insurance Plans/Robert Wood Johnson Foundation: Two-thirds of U.S. consumers have health insurance coverage through a company that collects data on the race and ethnicity of members, compared with slightly more than half three years ago, according to new study released by AHIP and RWJF. Using a grant from RWJF, AHIP conducted a follow-up to a 2003 survey and received responses from 156 companies providing health coverage to employer groups and public health insurance programs. According to the study, companies use the racial and ethnic data to develop communications that are language and culturally appropriate, identify racial and ethnic health disparities, and create or strengthen quality of care improvements. The study notes that while there has been progress, barriers to racial and ethnic data collection still exist, including community perception, problems in obtaining reliable data and legal or regulatory limitations (AHIP/RWJF release, 12/5).
- "Strengthening Medicare's Role in Reducing Racial and Ethnic Health Disparities," National Academy of Social Insurance: Medicare should play a more prominent role in reducing disparities in the U.S. health care system, according to a report by an independent panel of the National Academy of Social Insurance chaired by Bruce Vladeck, interim president of the University of Medicine and Dentistry of New Jersey. The report outlines recommendations in five target categories that would reduce racial and ethnic health care disparities in the U.S. (Vladeck et al., "Strengthening Medicare's Role in Reducing Racial and Ethnic Health Disparities," 12/5).