CMS maps Medicare disparities

CMS maps Medicare disparities

The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services launched a new interactive map that visualizes geographic disparities in chronic disease among Medicare beneficiaries. The tool is part of CMS' efforts to inform policy decisions and efficiently target populations and geographies for interventions.

The Mapping Medicare Disparities (MMD) Tool identifies disparities in health outcomes, utilization and spending by race and ethnicity and geographic location.  It features:

  • A dynamic interface with data on the prevalence of 18 chronic conditions in Medicare beneficiaries age 65 years or older, persons under age 65 with certain disabilities, and persons of any age with end stage renal disease (ESRD). Data on Medicare spending, hospital and emergency department utilization, preventable hospitalizations, readmissions and mortality rates is also included.

  • The ability to sort by state or county of residence, sex, age, dual-eligibility for Medicare and Medicaid, and race and ethnicity.

  • Built-in benchmarking features to investigate disparities within counties and across racial and ethnic groups, and within racial and ethnic groups across counties.

Users can build step-by-step queries to research, for example, which areas of the country perform worse than others for a specific chronic condition, the rate of diabetes among Hispanic males in Dade County, Fla., or how the rate of heart failure hospitalizations among Medicare beneficiaries in Michigan compares to the national average. Maps generated by the MMD Tool can be downloaded, as can the underlying data -- which is drawn from 2011-2014 administrative claims from Medicare beneficiaries enrolled in the fee-for-service program through the Chronic Conditions Data Warehouse.

The MMD Tool was developed in collaboration with KPMG LLP and National Opinion Research Center at the University of Chicago as part of the CMS Equity Plan for Improving Quality in Medicare.  

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