A recent KFF report, “Disparities in Health Measures By Race and Ethnicity Among Beneficiaries in Medicare Advantage: A Review of the Literature,” examines differences in measures of quality of care and beneficiary experience between people of color in Medicare Advantage plans and White Medicare Advantage enrollees or the total Medicare Advantage population. The report synthesizes 20 studies that were published during the period between January 2018 and April 2023, and is limited to MA enrollees. The report looks at studies that examine the measures for quality of care and beneficiary experience for several groups when comparted to White Medicare Advantage enrollees; the studies examined measures for Black, Hispanic, Asian Pacific Islander, American Indian and Alaska Native enrollees.
- A higher share of Black than White Medicare Advantage enrollees were admitted to the hospital for an ambulatory care sensitive condition – a measure of potentially preventable hospitalizations – and a higher share of Black than White enrollees were readmitted to the hospital within 30 days.
- A higher share of Black Medicare Advantage enrollees than White enrollees received breast cancer screenings, colorectal cancer screenings, and pap smears, but a lower share of Black enrollees received prostate cancer screenings and flu vaccines.
- A lower share of Black than White enrollees with depression were treated with antidepressant medication and remained on the medication for at least 12 weeks.
- A higher share of Asian and Pacific Islander than White enrollees received a flu vaccine, while similar shares received colorectal cancer screenings.
- A lower share of American Indian and Alaska Native enrollees than White enrollees had their blood sugar and blood pressure controlled as part of diabetes care.
- A lower share of Hispanic than White Medicare Advantage enrollees received follow-up care after emergency department visits for certain conditions, such as for mental health and a set of multiple high-risk chronic conditions.
December 21, 2023 – K. Kertesz