Demographic Data Collection in Medicaid & CHIP: CMS Authority to Collect Race & Ethnicity Data

Executive Summary

CMS must collect information on Medicaid and CHIP enrollees’ race and ethnicity to understand program quality and monitor equitable access. Yet, CMS has not formally required state Medicaid programs to collect or report race and ethnicity information in a uniform manner. As a result, data on racial and ethnic health disparities in these programs lacks completeness, reliability, and consistency.  This brief outlines CMS’s current authority to engage in race and ethnicity data collection and provides several actions that CMS can take right now to improve demographic data collection.

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