Data released by the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) revealed health care service disparities between minority and white populations covered under Medicare Advantage plans. Released on April 19, the data is the first of its kind. They show that, broadly speaking, service quality metrics for minority groups lagged behind the white population across a number of categories.
“This data seeds the ground for eventual comparisons between Medicare Advantage and traditional Medicare in understanding how minorities and other vulnerable populations are served in the Medicare program,” Mike Adelberg, senior director for FaegreBD Consulting, told Medicare Advantage News.
While CMS views this data as a first step to improving care across demographics, it also urged providers to work on remedying root causes. Some of the data suggested that language barriers could be part of the problem, which Adelberg said should serve as “a reminder to [Medicare Advantage Organizations] to make sure their member services are meeting CMS’s language requirements.”
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