Health Insurers Collecting Race, Ethnicity Data
More and more health insurers are collecting data on the race and ethnicity of their insureds, which is an essential step toward addressing gaps in care, says a new study.
Based on responses from 137 health plans that responded to a survey, the study found that 53.5% of enrollees are covered by health insurers that collect data on race and ethnicity.
The study was conducted jointly by America?s Health Insurance Plans and the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation. The results were released at a press briefing.
Risa Lavizzo-Mourey, president of the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, says the goal of the study is to help reduce the disparity in treatment faced by minority groups.
She notes that recent studies have shown that there is an overall problem with quality of health care. Indeed, Lavizzo-Mourey says, 50% of the time patients do not receive the care recommended by the latest scientific evidence. Studies also show, she says, that racial and ethnic minorities receive an even lower standard of care.
Collecting this type of information, Lavizzo-Mourey says, can help improve health care quality.
While data collection alone will not solve the problem, she says, without it the nation will not be able to commit itself to improving quality.