Minority elderly patients with diabetes receive lower quality of care based on an array of quality measures across various health care settings. However, the documentation of racial/ethnic disparities in quality of care for elderly patients with diabestes relies on a few major data sets such as claims data from Medicare beneficiaries, the Veterans Health Administration (VHA) databases, or the Health Plan Employer Data and Information Set (HEDIS) databases. The current study examines if racial/ethnic disparities in the quality of diabetes care found among elderly patients have begun to abate by using data from a nationally representative survey not frequently used in the literature. Using pooled data from the 2002-2007 Medical Expenditure Panel Survey, we found that elderly black patients with diabetes were less likely to receive appropriate quality of care as reported by patients, or eye examination and more likely to receive a foot examination compared to their white counterparts. Similarly, elderly Asian patients with diabetes were less likely to report receiving appropriative quality of care compared to their white counterparts. These results have important implication for future research that would seek to understand the mechanisms through which racial minority status is associated with poorer quality of diabetes care.
- Elderly patients
- Medical Expenditure Panel Survey
- Quality of care