To produce reliable and informative health plan performance data by race/ethnicity for the Medicare beneficiary population and to consider appropriate presentation strategies.
Patient experience data from the 2008–2009 Medicare Advantage () and fee‐for‐service () surveys and 2008–2009 data ( beneficiaries only).
Mixed effects linear (and binomial) regression models estimated the reliability and statistical informativeness of () measures.
Seven and seven measures were reliable and informative for four racial/ethnic subgroups—Whites, Blacks, Hispanics, and Asian/Pacific Islanders—at sample sizes of 100 beneficiaries (200 for prescription drug plans). Although many plans lacked adequate sample size for reporting group‐specific data, reportable plans contained a large majority of beneficiaries from each of the four racial/ethnic groups.
Statistically reliable and valid information on health plan performance can be reported by race/ethnicity. Many beneficiaries may have difficulty understanding such reports, however, even with careful guidance. Thus, it is recommended that health plan performance data by subgroups be reported as supplemental data and only for plans meeting sample size requirements.