Tracking quality-of-care measures is essential for improving care, particularly for vulnerable populations. Although managed care plans routinely track quality measures, few examine whether their performance differs by enrollee race/ethnicity or socioeconomic status (SES), in part because plans do not collect that information. The authors show that plans can begin examining and targeting potential disparities using indirect measures of enrollee race/ethnicity and SES based on geocoding. Using such measures, the authors demonstrate disparities within both Medicare+Choice and commercial plans on Health Plan Employer Data and Information Set (HEDIS) measures of diabetes and cardiovascular care, including instances in which race/ethnicity and SES have distinct effects.
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/principles.
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.