Racial and Ethnic Differences in Public and Private Medical Care Expenditures Among Aged Medicare Beneficiaries

Published in: The Milbank Quarterly, v. 81, no. 2, 2003, p. 249-275

by Jose J. Escarce, Kanika Kapur

Read More

Access further information on this document at www.milbank.org

This article was published outside of RAND. The full text of the article can be found at the link above.

This study examines the current allocation of medical care expenditures among non-Hispanic white, non-Hispanic black, and Hispanic seniors who are Medicare beneficiaries. Analyses of both need-based and demand-based perspectives found that white, black, and Hispanic seniors in similar health had similar total annual expenditures for medical care. The groups did, however, differ substantially in the distribution of expenditures between public and private sources of payment. Notably, racial and ethnic differences in public and private expenditures all but vanished when socioeconomic variables and health insurance coverage were included in the analyses. The findings suggest that public sources of payment for medical care services, especially public supplementary coverage, have helped to eliminate racial and ethnic gaps in expenditures.

This report is part of the RAND Corporation External publication series. Many RAND studies are published in peer-reviewed scholarly journals, as chapters in commercial books, or as documents published by other organizations.

Our mission to help improve policy and decisionmaking through research and analysis is enabled through our core values of quality and objectivity and our unwavering commitment to the highest level of integrity and ethical behavior. To help ensure our research and analysis are rigorous, objective, and nonpartisan, we subject our research publications to a robust and exacting quality-assurance process; avoid both the appearance and reality of financial and other conflicts of interest through staff training, project screening, and a policy of mandatory disclosure; and pursue transparency in our research engagements through our commitment to the open publication of our research findings and recommendations, disclosure of the source of funding of published research, and policies to ensure intellectual independence. For more information, visit www.rand.org/about/research-integrity.

The RAND Corporation is a nonprofit institution that helps improve policy and decisionmaking through research and analysis. RAND's publications do not necessarily reflect the opinions of its research clients and sponsors.