To assess the validity of race/ethnicity in edicare databases for studies of racial/ethnic disparities.
The 2010 edicare onsumer ssessments of ealthcare roviders and ystems () survey was linked to edicare enrollment data and local area characteristics from the 2000 ensus.
Race/ethnicity was cross‐tabulated for and edicare data. Within each self‐reported category, demographic, geographic, health, and health care variables were compared between those that were and were not similarly identified in edicare data.
The Medicare survey included 343,658 responses from elderly participants (60 percent response rate). Data were weighted for sampling and nonresponse to be representative of the national population of elderly edicare beneficiaries.
Self‐reported ispanics, sians, acific slanders, and merican ndians were underidentified in edicare enrollment data. Individuals in these groups who were identified in edicare data tended to be more strongly identified with their group, poorer, and in worse health and to report worse health care experiences than those who were not so identified.
Self‐reported members of racial and ethnic groups other than Whites and Blacks who are identified in edicare data differ substantially from those who are not so identified. These differences should be considered in assessments of disparities in health and health care among edicare beneficiaries.