CMS releases Medicare Advantage data sorted by racial and ethnic groups

The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) Office of Minority Health recently released data on the quality of care for Medicare Advantage patients. 

The data is sorted by race and ethnicity. It shows that African-Americans and Hispanics receive a similar or lower level of care than White patients.

“This is the first time that CMS has released Medicare Advantage data stratified by race and ethnicity. Increasing understanding and awareness of disparities and their causes is the first step of our path to equity,” CMS Office of Minority Health Director Dr. Cara James said. “While these data do not tell us why differences exist, they show where we have problems and can help spur efforts to understand what can be done to reduce or eliminate these differences.”

Two sources were analyzed: the Healthcare Effectiveness Data and Information set (HEDIS) and the Medicare Consumer Assessment of Healthcare Providers and Systems (CAHPS) Survey. HEDIS collects data from medical records and administrative data while CAHPS focuses on Medicare beneficiaries' health care experiences.

“These data points are a good first step in understanding disparities in Medicare Advantage,” CMS Deputy Administrator and Center for Medicare Director Sean Cavanaugh said. “We look forward to working with plans in closing the differences in the quality of care that people with Medicare Advantage receive.”  


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