Press Releases

Statement on 2017 CMS Report on Health Disparities in Medicare Advantage

Washington, D.C. Better Medicare Alliance (BMA) President and CEO Allyson Y. Schwartz released the following statement in response to reports released by the Office of Minority Health (OMH) at the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) in recognition of National Minority Health Month today:

“Better Medicare Alliance is encouraged by recent findings by CMS showing improvement in care delivery for certain beneficiaries enrolled in Medicare Advantage who have historically experienced health inequity.

“It is important to examine where there might be instances where minority population groups are not experiencing care or demonstrating health outcomes in comparison to the rest of the population. While the data analysis indicates opportunities for improvement, in some cases minority beneficiaries enrolled in Medicare Advantage are showing areas where there are reduced gaps in care delivery and outcomes.

“According to the report Asian Pacific Islanders showed similar or better outcomes across at least 19 clinical care (HEDIS) measures, Blacks across at least 13 measures, and Hispanics at least 15 measures. Regarding patient experience (CAHPS) measures, it is significant that Blacks and Hispanics reported similar or better experiences on at least five measures.

“This year was the first year CMS has released gender differences in patient experience and clinical outcomes among Medicare Advantage beneficiaries. In eight patient experience measures, women and men get similar care include getting needed prescription drugs and important care coordination. In 24 clinical care measures, 16 were rated as similar for both sexes, five showed women get better care than men and three showed men get better care than women.

“The fight to reduce health disparities relies heavily on the ability to analyze accurate data. We commend the Office of Minority Health for the inclusion of Medicare Advantage data to ensure minority beneficiaries enrolled in Medicare Advantage are part of the important effort to reduce inequities that plague our health system. BMA looks forward to the opportunity to work with CMS in its fact-finding mission on the experience of beneficiaries in Medicare Advantage.”         


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