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Table IV.2. Participating Firms with Policies Supporting Universal Collection of Primary Race/Ethnicity Data on Members

Evaluation of a Learning Collaborative's Process and Effectiveness to Reduce Health Care Disparities Among Minority Populations

Firms with Complete Data for All or Virtually All Members

  • Firm 1. This firm serves predominantly Medicaid members and receives such data from the state.

Firms with Data for a Meaningful Share of their Members

  • Firm 4. The firm announced in 2001 that it would begin to collect such data. From 2002 to 2004, it worked to get approval from states and some major employers to include a field for such data on the enrollment form. In 2004, it initiated a member Web Portal that encourages voluntary reporting.
  • Firm 6. About 30 percent of members are served by the medical group, which has collected such data since 2004 (with estimated 95 percent completion rate). Data are available for about 50 to 60 percent of members using system hospitals. After the experience with geocoding, firm decided to introduce a Web Portal with the goal of capturing primary data for members seen by other providers; this portal was introduced in January 2006.

Firms with Systems in Place to Collect Such Data

  • Firm 2. An electronic medical record that was adopted a year or two ago includes a field for race/ethnicity that is supposed to be completed during on-site medical visits. However, the field uses a "soft" rather than a "hard" stop and compliance is low so far. One state in which the plan operates requires hospitals to collect such data; this yields information for a sizeable proportion of the membership in that region. Consideration is being given to making senior executives responsible for targeted completion, a step viewed as likely to be very effective in encouraging compliance.

Firms with Adopted Policies that are Designing Systems

  • Firm 3. In late 2005, the firm made a commitment to collect race/ethnicity and preferred language data. The effort will begin with members in disease management programs and those completing health risk appraisal forms.
  • Firm 5. The firm has committed to collecting race/ethnicity data but will not be able to implement the policy until at least 2008 because it must finish converting to a new IT system that has a field for such information. The firm has decided to use the same IT system as another Collaborative participant with whom they have business relations and believe that the system will support race/ethnicity coding.
  • Firm 7. The CEO has decided to collect such data and formed a taskforce charged with deciding in 2006 how to do so. In the interim, the firm is selectively capturing such data on a voluntary basis as part of its customer relations management effort.
  • Firm 8. The firm has decided to collect race/ethnicity data and will do so via its commercial enrollment form and a Web portal where members can volunteer this information. It is in the process of getting states' approval of the modified enrollment form and developing the new Web interface.

Note: Firms were randomly assigned to the codes Firm 1, Firm 2, and so forth.

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Page last reviewed December 2007
Internet Citation: Table IV.2. Participating Firms with Policies Supporting Universal Collection of Primary Race/Ethnicity Data on Members: Evaluation of a Learning Collaborative's Process and Effectiveness to Reduce Health Care Disparities Among Minority Populations. December 2007. Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality, Rockville, MD. http://www.ahrq.gov/research/findings/final-reports/learning/tab4-2.html