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Health Plan Looks at Health Disparities
As part of the department-wide Reducing Health Disparties Initiative, the Contra Costa Health Plan (CCHP) analyzed service data for their Medi-Cal clients by language and ethnicity. Using Health Plan Employer Data and Information Set (HEDIS ®) measures mandated by Medi-Cal Managed Care, CCHP analyzed 19 separate health care quality indicators. They found significant disparities for African American clients for Childhood Immunizations and Well-Child Visits.
Discovering a Disparity
When they looked at children who should have had six well-child visits between 0-15 months of age, the rate for African American children was significantly lower than that of White children. For Childhood Immunizations, the rate of African American children receiving all the required vaccinations by the age of two, was significantly lower than White children.
Addressing the Issue
To address these disparities, CCHP has started a quality improvement project. Ken Tilly, Director of Quality Management, and Otilia Tiutin, Manager of Health Education/Cultural and Lingusitic Services, will be working with several CCHS Divisions to identify factors that contribute to the disparities. They will pinpoint where clients are geographically located and which providers they see. Strategies to eliminate disparities in health services for all CCHP clients will be developed.
Linguistic access issues are also taken very seriously by CCHP management. Increasingly, a large number of Spanish-speaking members come in to CCHP's office at 595 Center Avenue in Martínez to pay their monthly premium or get other information about services. When CCHP's receptionist position became vacant, Rich Harrison, CCHP's CEO and Pam Calley, Manager of Membership Maintenance who oversees the receptionist, decided to flag the position bilingual. Pam is currently recruiting a Spanish-speaking receptionist.
For more information, call Otilia Tiutin at 925-313-6063.
Content provided by the Reducing Health Disparities Initiative.