Because of the diversity of the populations served by Medicaid, state health care purchasers and their managed care contractors are uniquely positioned to improve the quality of care and health outcomes for millions of racially and ethnically diverse beneficiaries with chronic illnesses. A new issue brief from the Center for Health Care Strategies, Inc. (CHCS), available on the CHCS Web site, provides practical examples from across the country to demonstrate how states are using data on race and ethnicity to improve the quality of care for Medicaid beneficiaries. Written with support from The Commonwealth Fund and the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, Using Data on Race and Ethnicity to Improve Health Care Quality for Medicaid Beneficiaries outlines what state Medicaid agencies can do to enlist managed care plans and others in reducing and/or eliminating racial and ethnic disparities, including:
- Continuing to improve state data collection processes;
- Collaborating with health plans to prioritize improved health plan data collection;
- Providing complete and accurate data on race and ethnicity to the health plans; and
- Offering technical, administrative, and financial incentives to health plans to address disparities in care.
K. LLanos and L. Palmer, Using Data on Race and Ethnicity to Improve Health Care Quality for Medicaid Beneficiaries, Center for Health Care Strategies, June 2006