How do Medicare Beneficiaries with
Physical and Sensory Disabilities
Feel About Their Health Care?
Lisa I. Iezzoni, Jane R. Soukup, and Suzanne G. Leveille
Persons with disabilities often experience more problems than others with their health care quality, along various dimensions.1Healthy People 2010, which sets national health priorities, notes disparities in care for many persons with disabilities, (U.S. Department of Health and Human Services 2000) and in 2005, the U.S. Surgeon General called for concerted efforts to eliminate these disparities (U.S. Department of Health and Human Services 2005). Disability thus joins such patient attributes as race, ethnicity, and nonmajority cultural traditions as targets for health care quality improvement, especially ensuring patient-centered care, perhaps the fundamental guiding principle for improving care according to the Institute of Medicine's seminal report Crossing the Quality Chasm (Institute of Medicine Committee on Quality of Health Care in America 2001; Berwick 2002). Patient-centered care—care that meets patients' preferences, expectations, and needs — requires open and accurate communication between patients and clinicians, as well as ready access to services and other interven
Lisa I. Iezzoni, M.D., M.Sc., is professor of medicine, Harvard Medical School, and Asso-
ciate Director, Institute for Health Policy at the Massachusetts General Hospital, Boston.
Jane R. Soukup, M.Sc., is a data analyst at Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center, Boston.
Suzanne G. Leveille, Ph.D., is assistant professor of medicine, Harvard Medical School, and
a research associate in the Division of General Medicine and Primary Care, Beth Israel Dea-
coness Medical Center, Boston.
We are grateful for financial support from the National Institute on Aging, grants P30
AG12810 and R01 AG19805, and the Mary Woodard Lasker Charitable Trust and Michael E.
1. See U.S. Department of Health and Human Services 2000; Rosenbach 1995; Rosenbach,
Acamache, and Khandker 1995; Andriacchi 1997; Chan et al. 1999; Lawthers et al. 2003;
Iezzoni et al. 2000a; Iezzoni et al. 2001; Iezzoni et al. 2002; Weil et al. 2002; Iezzoni et al.
2003; Iezzoni et al. 2004a; O'Day, Killeen, and Iezzoni 2004; O'Day et al. 2005; Iezzoni et al.
2004b; Iezzoni and O'Day 2006; Iezzoni, Killeen, and O'Day 2006; and McCarthy et al. 2006.