Five Medicaid Managed Care Organizations Reduce Racial and Ethnic Disparities in Health Care

Reducing racial and ethnic disparities in health care: A best clinical and administrative practices initiative

From 2004 to 2007, the Center for Health Care Strategies (CHCS) worked with groups of state Medicaid agencies and Medicaid managed care organizations to identify best practices to reduce disparities in care among racial and ethnic groups.

Key Results:

  • Five Medicaid managed care organizations that participated in the project reported progress in reducing disparities in care. For example:
    • Monroe Plan for Medical Care (New York) reported reducing neonatal intensive care unit admissions in 2005 from 11 percent to 4.9 percent among babies of African-American teen mothers.
    • Molina Healthcare (Michigan) reported increasing its childhood immunization rate for African Americans from 38.3 percent in 2004 to 58.4 percent in 2006.
    • Blue Cross of California reported increasing African Americans' use of its personalized education program for asthma from 0 to 15 percent in eight non-chain pharmacies.
    • UPMC for You (Pennsylvania) reported a decline in low-birth weight deliveries for African-American women in Braddock County from more than 20 percent in 2004 to 0 percent in 2005, and a decline from more than 20 percent to about 8 percent among all women in the Braddock area.
    • L.A. Care Health Plan (California) enhanced its delivery of pharmacy services to racial and ethnic minorities by providing language labeling in the 10 most common languages of its members to 500 pharmacies.
  • Two participating state Medicaid agencies implemented quality improvement goals.