MCOs collect racial data to close disparities within care

Washington, D.C.-Not too long ago, an insurer or HMO that requested information on a patient’s race or ethnicity could be accused of racial profiling or cream-skimming. Today health plans are highlighting their programs for collecting such data to improve quality of care for racial and ethnic groups. Last month, AHIP (America’s Health Insurance Plans) and the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation released a survey indicating that most (51%) MCOs collect data on member race and ethnicity in order to target certain demographic groups for special preventive health- and disease-management programs.