Online Program

Using annual CAHPS surveys to determine the health information needs, challenges, and preferences of older patients in a large Medicaid health plan, 2006-2012

Monday, November 4, 2013

S. Rae Starr, MPhil, MOrgBehav, HealthCare Outcomes & Analysis, L.A. Care Health Plan, Los Angeles, CA
Earl Leonard III, MS, HealthCare Outcomes & Analysis, L.A. Care Health Plan, Los Angeles, CA
Older patients seeking health information, face many changes requiring information: (a) Evolution in treatments; (b) more shared decision-making in care; and (c) greater responsibility to self-administer medications and tests. Information is essential to making informed choices. Multi-media and new media have changed the forms in which healthcare information is available. Healthcare reform is changing the nature of coverage, requiring more information to help older patients exercise choice.

This study examines the challenges that seniors report in accessing health information; and their preferences regarding the forms in which they receive information about their options.

(1) Design: Questions were inserted into annual CAHPS surveys from 2006 to 2009 to explore what problems seniors and other patients had with informational materials; which materials; and the source that provided problem materials (health plan, clinic, doctors, etc).

(2) Setting: The presentation reports findings from surveys of seniors at a large and diverse Medicaid health plan to identify the specific difficulties and barriers encountered by seniors in obtaining and using health care information.

(3) Analyses: The study examines the differences between age cohorts and their information problems and needs. Seniors' preferred mediums of communication (written, audio, visual, Internet) are also summarized.

(4) Uses: The briefing explores seniors' information needs and the forms in which they prefer to get it. Seniors' use of new media is explored. The briefing also examines the association between seniors' ability to get needed information and the ratings that they give regarding the quality of care and services they receive.

Learning Areas:

Biostatistics, economics
Conduct evaluation related to programs, research, and other areas of practice
Implementation of health education strategies, interventions and programs
Planning of health education strategies, interventions, and programs
Program planning
Social and behavioral sciences

Learning Objectives:
Describe the communication preferences of seniors seeking health information. Describe the information-seeking behavior and experience of older patients seeking health information. Identify which health promotion and health plan materials cause the most problems for seniors. Identify what kinds of problems are reported by seniors in seeking health care information. Describe the degree to which seniors use non-printed forms of media (audio, video, Internet, text messaging). Demonstrate use of annual CAHPS surveys to carry an integrated bloc of questions to identify and solve problems with informational materials. Differentiate between the informational needs and challenges of different demographic groups. Discuss ways to augment annual CAHPS surveys to better capture data about the information and service needs of seniors.

Keyword(s): Elderly, Quality Improvement

Presenting author's disclosure statement:

Qualified on the content I am responsible for because: Served seven years as Senior Biostatistician at the largest U.S. public health plan, serving Medicaid and CHIP populations in an ethnically diverse urban county in the southwest United States. Managed CAHPS survey from 2006 to 2013 to obtain actionable information to guide design of interventions to improve the quality of services and care. Designed survey questions and analytic plans for studying the communication needs of seniors and other special populations, to guide programs and projects.
Any relevant financial relationships? No

I agree to comply with the American Public Health Association Conflict of Interest and Commercial Support Guidelines, and to disclose to the participants any off-label or experimental uses of a commercial product or service discussed in my presentation.