Latinos make up approximately 6% of the Massachusetts population and currently are the largest minority group in the state. Despite the fact that the publicly-funded medical care system and free care access are generous, and that Massachusetts residents generally have better health indicators than others, Massachusetts Latino have persistent health disparities. For example, Massachusetts Latinos experience disproportionate mortality rates for HIV/AIDS, homicide, perinatal conditions, and alcohol and substance abuse, and have higher rates of obesity, diabetes, infant mortality and low birthweight babies. These continuing disparities in the face of relatively high insurance rates and access to care lead us to believe that access to insurance alone does not address access to quality care, which may be compromised by cultural, language or other barriers. We investigated access to care quality indicators using HEDIS 3.0 methodology within the Massachusetts Medicaid program, which insures approximately 50% of Latinos in the state. We found that Latinos fell far below national private HMO benchmarks on some indicators, but in many cases had comparable or higher levels of care to other ethnic groups. Due to the large percentage of the Latino population covered by this insurance type, examining the quality of care received through the Medicaid program should shed light on whether disparities can be attributed largely to lack of insurance access, or whether access to care issues persist, even when insurance is not a barrier. Analyzing indicators by race and ethnicity can also indicate which issues require systems reform and/or community outreach and education.
Learning Objectives: At the end of the presentation the participants will be able to 1) identify the key health disparities of Latinos in Massachusetts; 2)discuss barriers and quality issues for Latino Medicaid recipients; and 3) develop quality improvement goals based on empirical data from standardized quality of care measures
Keywords: Special Populations, Quality of Care
Presenting author's disclosure statement:
Organization/institution whose products or services will be discussed: federal/state Medicaid program
I do not have any significant financial interest/arrangement or affiliation with any organization/institution whose products or services are being discussed in this session.
The 128th Annual Meeting of APHA