Cover: Comparison of Data Quality for Reports and Ratings of Ambulatory Care by African American and White Medicare Managed Care Enrollees

Comparison of Data Quality for Reports and Ratings of Ambulatory Care by African American and White Medicare Managed Care Enrollees

Published in: Journal of Aging and Health, v. 18, no. 5, Oct. 1, 2006, p. 707-721

by Marie N. Fongwa, William Cunningham, Robert Weech-Maldonado, Peter R. Gutierrez, Ron D. Hays

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Abstract

OBJECTIVE: Compare missing data and reliability of health care evaluations between African Americans and Whites in Medicare managed care health plans. METHOD: Consumer Assessment of Healthcare Providers and Systems (CAHPS) 3.0 health plan survey data collected from 109,980 Medicare managed care enrollees (101,189 Whites, 8,791 African Americans) in 321 plans. Participants self-administered the survey and four single-item global ratings of care. RESULTS: Missing data rates were significantly higher for African Americans than Whites on all CAHPS items (p < .0001). Internal consistency reliability estimates for the CAHPS scales did not differ significantly between African Americans and Whites, but plan-level reliability estimates for the scales and global rating items were significantly lower for African Americans than Whites. DISCUSSION: Higher missing data rates and lower plan-level reliability estimates for African American Medicare managed care enrollees suggest caution in making race/ethnicity comparisons. Future efforts are needed to enhance the quality of data collected from older African Americans.

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