The CMS Office of Minority Health Research Reports span a broad range of issues, which address the Office’s informational needs and long-term research needs. These resources include high-quality and relevant health policy research, through transparency of healthcare data and analytics.
Opioid Prescription in Medicare Beneficiaries: Prescription Opioid Policies and Implications for Beneficiaries with Sickle Cell Disease (PDF)
To help inform future policy decisions related to opioid use and their applicability to beneficiaries with sickle cell disease (SCD), this report compares opioid utilization patterns among Medicare Fee-for-Service (FFS) beneficiaries with SCD to two already-exempted populations with complex pain syndromes: non-SCD beneficiaries with cancer and non-SCD beneficiaries in hospice care. For context, results for the general FFS population are also provided. Specifically, the report provides a comparison of beneficiaries in these three populations who use opioids at doses that are equal to or exceed an average daily morphine milligram equivalent (MME) of 120, the MME threshold that aligns with Pharmacy Quality Alliance opioid measures in effect in 2016 during the study’s measurement period, and that defined "high dose opioid use" as daily use exceeding 120 MME.
The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) has collaborated with a wide variety of stakeholders to support work in all three areas of its path to equity: increasing the understanding and awareness of disparities and their causes, developing and disseminating solutions, and implementing sustainable actions. To increase understanding and awareness of disparities, CMS sponsored this issue, with a goal of contributing to the conversation on health disparities, and emphasizing the value of continuing research in this area. The studies included in this issue underscore the importance of identifying groups of people who do not benefit equally from our health system, and identifying root causes of these differences. We value the information and analysis they provide on this important topic and hope that they will create further discussion on how to reduce health disparities.
This report provides an enhanced understanding of the health needs of diverse groups of Hispanic Medicare beneficiaries. Since 2013, the Medicare HOS has been reporting disaggregated results for Hispanic beneficiaries who self-identify as Cuban, Puerto Rican, Mexican, Other Hispanic, or Multi-ethnic. This report demonstrates that stratifying health data for detailed Hispanic groups reveals unique differences otherwise masked by aggregate analyses. This added level of detail enhances the ability of public health professionals to identify and monitor the health and health care status of diverse population groups. Data included in the report can be accessed via the link below.
This report summarizes the development and initial validation of a Disability Index that reflects the presence and severity of different types of disability measured by the National Health Interview Survey (NHIS). The Disability Index can be used in the future to assess variability in quality of care and access to care along a single dimension of disability.
This report provides an enhanced understanding of the health needs of diverse groups of Asian and Native Hawaiians or other Pacific Islanders (NHOPI) Medicare beneficiaries. Since 2013, the Medicare Health Outcomes Survey (HOS) has been reporting disaggregated results for distinct Asian and NHOPI groups. Data included in the report can be accessed via the link below.
Identifying the Transgender Population in the Medicare Program (PDF)
Despite increased awareness and greater societal acceptance of people who are transgender, the inability to systematically identify and study the transgender population greatly hampers our capacity to conduct meaningful analysis of this group. This paper explores the use of billing data from the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) to identify and describe Medicare’s transgender population.
Because there has been little work done on sexual and gender identity on the older segments of the population, CMS commissioned NORC to engage in research. A series of cognitive interviews were held, which used existing sexual identity measures to understand the level of comprehension and answerability of these questions among Medicare-eligible individuals. The methodology and results of their work is included in the Develop and Test Sexual and Gender Minority Status Items for the Medicare Beneficiary Survey.
This report reviews the literature on the validity of current race and ethnicity data sources in the Medicare program. It outlines potential new options for collecting and using data on the race and ethnicity of Medicare beneficiaries. Some of these options would require new data collection efforts and, in some cases, may require Congressional action. For each option, this report presents information on whether the option would collect data on all or some and current or future beneficiaries, what race and ethnicity categories would be used, whether new data collection is required, and also notes any limitations and anticipated barriers to collecting or accessing the data.
Since January 2011, thousands of eligible providers, eligible hospitals, and critical access hospitals have participated in the Medicare Electronic Health Record (EHR) Incentive Program. Many eligible for this program have yet to register or attest to Stage 1 Meaningful Use. If some providers are left behind, this may create a gap in quality, cost, and efficiency between those who have adopted and meaningfully use EHRs and those who have not. The factors influencing program participation, however, are not fully clear. The research report provides information about the population studied, research objectives, principal findings, and conclusion.
To better serve Medicare beneficiaries with limited English proficiency (LEP), CMS commissioned NORC at the University of Chicago to conduct a literature review of existing metrics for measuring LEP and evaluations of their effectiveness. The research report presents main findings as well as recommendations for a set of LEP items to be included in the Medicare Beneficiary Survey.