Evaluating Ethnic Disparities in Patient Reports and Ratings


Patient surveys have identified significant ethnic disparities in health care experiences, particularly among those whose native language is not English. Some policymakers, however, have begun to question the extent to which these disparities reflect actual differences in health care received, or simply differences in the way diverse groups respond to the surveys. Addressing these concerns is critical to the future use of these measures to improve care for minority populations. For this project, investigators at RAND will evaluate the most widely used patient quality survey, the Consumer Assessment of Health Plans Survey (CAHPS), to determine (1) whether it is valid to compare the reports and ratings of patients from different ethnic/language groups, and (2) whether there are significant differences in care experiences among these groups. Project staff will report findings to health plans, policymakers, and other users of CAHPS quality information, and make recommendations for improving the survey's use with diverse populations.

Grant Details

Grantee Organization:
RAND Corporation
Principal Investigator:
Leo Morales, M.D., Ph.D.
Award Amount:
Approval Date:
November 13, 2001

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