Magazine article Black Issues in Higher Education

Managed Care Organizations Shortchange Minority Medicaid Patients, Penn State Study Finds

Magazine article Black Issues in Higher Education

Managed Care Organizations Shortchange Minority Medicaid Patients, Penn State Study Finds

Article excerpt

UNIVERSITY PARK, PA.

Even when they are enrolled in the same Medicaid managed care organizations (MCOs), patients who are members of linguistic, racial or ethnic minorities report worse care than White English speakers, a Penn State-led study has shown.

Asian non-English speakers reported the worst experience but the study found that African Americans, Hispanic Spanish speakers, and American Indians also continue to face barriers and lower quality of care, even after financial access has been assured by Medicaid.

Dr. Robert Weech-Maldonado, assistant professor of health policy and human development who led the study, says, "The data did show that African Americans, Hispanic Spanish speakers and American Indians were more likely than White English speakers to be clustered in the worst plans as rated by consumers. How, ever, our analysis found that the low reports of care by linguistic, racial and ethnic minorities are more a result of the different experiences with care for White versus minority people enrolled in the same plans than the minorities being in the poorly rated plans."

The study is detailed in the February issue of the Journal of General Internal Medicine in a paper, "Health Plan Effects on Patient Assessments of Medicaid Managed Care Among Racial/Ethnic Minorities."

The authors are Weech-Maldonado, Dr. Marc N. Elliott, RAND Health; Dr. Leo S. Morales, RAND Health; Ms. Karen Spitzer, University of California at Los Angeles; Dr. Grant Marshall, RAND Health; and Dr. …

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