Racial and Ethnic Data Working Group

06/27/2003

Purpose:

The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) Data Council’s Working Group on Racial and Ethnic Data was established by the HHS Data Council to:  provide technical support to the Data Council on racial and ethnic data issues; serve as the focal point for racial and ethnic data issues in the Department; coordinate data activities related to racial and ethnic data; and provide advice, technical assistance, and staff support to the Data Council.

Background:

HHS is committed to the appropriate inclusion of data on racial and ethnic groups in the Department's research, services and related activities.  Racial and ethnic data help to identify areas of disparities in health status and to monitor HHS programs to determine that funds are being used in a nondiscriminatory manner.  The availability of standard race and ethnicity data across agencies promotes the Department's coordinated response to major health and human services issues. The HHS Data Council Working Group is comprised of representatives from each of the HHS agencies and several staff offices.  Participating members are listed below.

Racial and Ethnic Data Working Group Membership:

ACF:  Administration on Children and Families

  • K.A. Jagannathan

AHRQ:  Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality

  •  Gregg Taliaferro

ASPE:  Office of the Assistant Secretary for Planning and Evaluation

  • Dale Hitchcock

ASMB:  Office of the Assistant Secretary for Management and Budget

  • Lester Cash

CDC: Centers for Disease Control and Prevention: Atlanta

  • Gladys Reynolds

CMS: Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services

  • Richard Bragg

FDA:  Food and Drug Administration

  • Lyvon Covington
  • Brenda Evelyn

HRSA:  Health Resources and Services Administration

  • Susan Queen

IHS:  Indian Health Service

  • Edna Paisano
  • Jo Ann Pappalardo

NIH:  National Institutes of Health

  • Deborah Guadalupe Duran, Office of Science Policy and Planning

NCHS, CDC: National Center for Health Statistics, CDC

  •  Kenneth Harris
  • Jennifer Parker

OCR:  Office for Civil Rights

  • Jessie Washington
  • Lisa Evans

OPHS:  Office of Public Health and Science, Office of Minority Health

  • Audrey Burwell*
  • Annette Nieves
  • Violet Woo
  • Jessica Hall

OPHS:  Office of Public Health and Science, Healthy People 2010

  • Miryan Granthon

SAMHSA:  Substance Abuse and Mental Health Administration

  • Beatrice Rouse*

_______________________________________________________________

* Cochairpersons



Activities and Accomplishments:

The Working Group on Racial and Ethnic Data is currently examining ways to improve community participation in the collection, analysis, and reporting of health and services data relevant to their needs.  As part of this effort, the Working Group presented  recent HHS measures to increase research on health disparities at the 2002 APHA annual meeting. In addition, it coordinated, chaired and moderated two plenary sessions on racial and ethnic data policy at the August 2001 Joint Statistical Meetings/American Statistical Association annual meeting in Atlanta, Georgia.  The two panels/sessions showcased the Department's efforts to further racial and ethnic data policy as well as efforts at the state and local levels of community involvement in this effort. The two sessions were as follows:  (1) "Improving Data on Racial/Ethnic Groups," - the panelists described successful efforts involving the communities studied; (2) "How to Implement Racial/Ethnic Data Policy," - the panelists discussed policy issues as well as innovative approaches for improving racial and ethnic data collection, analysis and dissemination.  

In addition, the Working Group has:

  • Updated and expanded the HHS Directory of Minority Health and Human Services Data Resources, now known as the Directory of Health and Human Services Data Resources ("Directory") on about 200 major data collection systems sponsored by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS). The Directory is produced for policymakers, administrators, researchers, and the public as a reference document on data resources within HHS and is updated periodically.  The Data Directory is available at http://aspe.hhs.gov/datacncl/DataDir/index.shtml
  • Provided technical assistance to Agencies on issues relating to racial and ethnic data.  For example, it provided technical assistance to HCFA (now known as CMS) during the revision of the HCFA Operational Policy Letter (OPL) which clarifies that  Medicare+Choice plans can ask Medicare beneficiaries to provide race and ethnicity information on a voluntary basis. The race and ethnicity information may be collected before, during, or after enrollment.
  • Prepared and distributed a report, Improving the Collection and Use of Racial and Ethnic Data in HHS ("Report"), for the HHS Data Council in December, 1999. The Report is the result of a joint venture between two racial and ethnic data work groups:  (1) the HHS Data Council’s Working Group on Racial and Ethnic Data and (2) the Data Work Group for the HHS Initiative to Eliminate Racial and Ethnic Disparities in Health. The recommendations in the Report provide HHS with a long-term strategy for improving the collection and use of racial and ethnic data across HHS and its agencies and, more specifically, of the HHS Initiative to Eliminate Racial and Ethnic Disparities in Health.  See "Improving the Collection and Use of Racial and Ethnic Data in HHS" at http://aspe.hhs.gov/datacncl/racerpt/index.htm
  • Submitted a draft report to the HHS Data Council in 1996 summarizing the Working Group's review of previous reports providing recommendations to HHS to improve minority health data as well as the racial and ethnic categories used in the HHS data systems.

Racial and Ethnic Data Workgroup Products:

Additional Links to HHS Data on Racial and Ethnic Groups:  

Data on Racial and Ethnic Groups:

 Health Statistics:

Other Minority Data and Information:

Census Data:

Bureau of Labor Statistics:

OMB Standards for Racial and Ethnic Data: