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Reports and Ratings of Care: Black and White Medicare Enrollees


Purpose. This study compared African American/Black and White Medicare enrollees’ perceptions of care.

Design and methods. Analyses of the 2002 Consumer Assessment of Healthcare Providers and Systems (CAHPS®) 3.0 survey of 101,189 (White) and 8,791 (Black) Medicare enrollees (82% response rate) randomly sampled from 321 health plans, with data collected via mail (84%) and telephone (16%). Multivariate linear regression models were conducted with the CAHPS® composites and global ratings as dependent variables, controlling for case-mix variables.

Results. Blacks reported significantly (p≤.0001, p≤.05) worse experiences with getting care quickly, office staff helpfulness, getting needed care, health plan customer service, rating of specialist care, and rating of the health plan (effect sizes ranging from 0.02 to 0.21). However, they reported better provider communication and rated their personal doctors/nurses and health care more positively (effect sizes ranging from 0.02 to 0.09).

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