Because of the diversity of the populations served by Medicaid, state health care purchasers and their managed care contractors are uniquely positioned to improve the quality of care and health outcomes for millions of racially and ethnically diverse beneficiaries with chronic illnesses. There is much that state Medicaid agencies can do to enlist managed care plans and others in reducing and/or eliminating racial and ethnic disparities, including:
- Continuing to improve state data collection processes;
- Collaborating with health plans to make improved health plan data collection a priority;
- Providing data on race and ethnicity to the health plans and ensuring the completeness and accuracy of data; and
- Offering technical, administrative, and financial incentives to health plans to address disparities in care.
This CHCS issue brief, made possible through support from the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation and The Commonwealth Fund, provides practical examples from across the country to demonstrate how states are using data on race and ethnicity to improve the quality of care for Medicaid beneficiaries.