Performance Improvement 2008. What Can Health Plans Do to Reduce Healthcare Disparities among Racial and Ethnic Minority Enrollees with Diabetes?


The evaluation examined the impact of the National Health Plan Collaborative. The National Health Plan Collaborative is a group of 11 national and regional health plans, the Center for Health Care Strategies, RAND, and two sponsors (the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation and the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality). The objective of the program was to help the health plans in the collaborative reduce disparities in diabetes care between minorities and whites, improve the plans´ abilities to measure disparities, test and measure disparity reduction interventions, and communicate outcomes within the Collaborative and to other health plans. As part of the evaluation, members of the Collaborative were asked to perform assessments themselves, other organizations in the Collaborative, and their relationships to one another.

The evaluation found that the Collaborative enhanced plans´ efforts to pursue disparity reduction work. Activities included sharing best practices for collecting race and ethnicity from health plan enrollees. For example, one plan hosted a Web-based seminar to demonstrate how the plan used a web-based approach to collect race/ethnicity data. External experts in race and ethnicity data collection had videoconferences with the Collaborative members, and employer groups discussed how they could partner with health plans to better address disparities in health care. The plans had differing views regarding the validity of collecting race/ethnicity/language data directly versus using indirect methods, such as geocoding or surname analysis. Some plans developed and tested pilot interventions dealing with patients, providers, or the community to reduce disparities, and shared results with the Collaborative. Health plans, support organizations and sponsors viewed positively the communication of outcomes outside the Collaborative. The Collaborative expects to release a toolkit of interventions and other information to help reduce healthcare disparities by September 2008.

Report Title: Evaluation of a Learning Collaborative's Process and Effectiveness to Reduce Health Care Disparities among Minority Populations. Report may be obtained from Federal Contact
Agency Sponsor:
AHRQ, Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality
Federal Contact: Cynthia Palmer, 301-427-1441
Performer: Mathematica Policy Research, Inc.

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"PerformanceImprovement2008.pdf" (pdf, 1.29Mb)

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