Health Equity in New York's Public Insurance Programs

Posted May, 14 2009 by arianne

A new report,  Promoting Equity and Quality in New York’s Public Insurance Programs,  released by the Community Service Society (CSS) and funded by the New York State Health Foundation urges New York State to promote health equity more aggressively through its popular public insurance programs. 

These programs—Child Health Plus, Family Health Plus and Medicaid Managed Care—serve nearly three million New Yorkers, approximately 20 percent of whom are African American, and another 28 percent are Latino.  In its review of New York State Department of Health quality assurance data, the report finds that African American enrollees experience worse health outcomes on 10 out of 12 quality measures when compared to the total of other all other racial and ethnic groups.  The report also found that Asian/Pacific Islanders, and to a lesser degree Latino, enrollees had statistically significantly better health indicators on a number of measures. The quality measures analyzed are in the areas of children’s health and dental care, women’s health and diabetes care.

CSS’s report makes three policy recommendations about how New York State could improve the quality of care for racial and ethnic minorities:  (1) monitor health plan quality indicators by racial and ethnic categories;  (2) publicly disclose the results of racial and ethnic disparities in health outcomes by health plan; and (3) leverage its purchasing power for health equity through its existing pay-for-performance and monitoring mechanisms.

Read the press release here.

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