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Access is Better for Racial/Ethnic Elderly in Medicare HMOs -- But Disparities Exist

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This policy reports new findings on access to care of elderly enrollees in Medicare HMOs across four distinct dimensions of access: availability, accessibility, acceptability, and achieved care (Exhibit 1). The analyses compare HMO enrollees with those in traditional fee-for-service programs in California and in the rest of the nation, finding that in both California and in the rest of the country, Medicare HMOs fail to eliminate the access to care gap that Latino and African American elderly persons have with non-Latino white elderly persons. In the case of older Latinos outside of California, Medicare HMOs may even exacerbate the inequalities.