Equal treatment and unequal benefits: a re-examination of the use of Medicare services by race, 1967-1976.
Ruther, Martin M
Date of Pub
In the early years of the Medicare program, proportionally more whites than non-whites among the aged used Medicare services.
This article examines the use and reimbursement of Medicare services by the aged between 1967 and 1976 to determine if racial
differences still exist. To do so, three measures are studied. The first, the number of persons reimbursed for Medicare service
per 1,000 enrollees, measures access to Medicare's reimbursement system. The second, reimbursement per person using reimbursed
services, measures the amount of reimbursement received after persons exceed Medicare deductibles. The third, reimbursement
per enrollee, indicates the combined effect of access and reimbursement and represents a measure of equity for the population
at risk. Analysis of the three measures by type of Medicare service found that the disparities in use and reimbursement of
services by race decreased considerably between 1967 and 1976. This trend was found both at the national and at the regional
level. Overall, the decreases in the disparity measured are note-worthy. By type of service, proportionally more whites than
non-whites still receive reimbursement. However, once non-whites exceed deductibles, the reimbursements per person using reimbursed
services are generally comparable or higher than reimbursement to whites.
Minority Groups : Whites : Human : Insurance, Health, Reimbursement : Medicare/utilization : United States