Study: Care for elderly still varies by race

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While the racial disparities for medical care given to seniors enrolled in Medicare managed care programs have narrowed in recent years, the quality of other care still varies widely depending on race, according to a study in Wednesday's issue of the New England Journal of Medicine.

For the study researchers examined the measured quality of care for 1.5 million elderly Medicare beneficiaries in managed care plans from 1997 to 2003. Using HEDIS (Health Plan Employer Data and Information Set) measures, researchers found that the gap between black and white beneficiaries shrank for seven HEDIS measures of care, but disparities did not narrow for glucose control in diabetes or for cholesterol control with patients having cardiovascular disorders.

For more information about the study, visit the New England Journal of Medicine on the Web at http://content.nejm.org/.