Advocates have long pushed states and CMS to improve Medicaid data collection and reporting on health disparities with little to show for it. It is now long past time for the agency, Congress, and other health policymakers to fulfill that principle with real and urgent action. This brief provides tools to understand the various Medicaid managed care requirements for collecting and reporting data on health equity. Many barriers, including both a lack of funding and political will, continue to obstruct such reporting. We also explore the potential of CMS’s new data reporting system, T-MSIS, for improving the quality, frequency, and transparency of health disparities data in Medicaid. Advocates may be able to use some of the federal requirements and initiatives to push for improved reporting on health disparities. Absent federal requirements, they may point to some of the more proactive states and quality measurement organizations that are implementing policies to improve health equity reporting in managed care.
This paper is part of a larger series that updates and expands NHeLP’s 2015 Advocates’ Guide to Oversight, Transparency, and Accountability in Medicaid Managed Care. Companion papers in this series include:
- Medicaid External Quality Review: An Updated Overview (Nov. 2020)
- Finding and Analyzing Medicaid Quality Measures (Jan. 2021)
- Addressing Health Equity in Medicaid Managed Care Quality Oversight (May 2021)
- State quality fact sheets: Florida, Ohio
- Medicaid Managed Care: Using Sanctions to Improve Accountability (forthcoming)