HCFA's racial and ethnic data: current accuracy and recent improvements

Health Care Financ Rev. Summer 2000;21(4):107-16.


Using linked data from the Medicare Current Beneficiary Survey (MCBS), the authors assessed the accuracy of racial/ethnic classifications in HCFA's enrollment data base (EDB) before and after the 1997 effort to update the EDB. After the update, the sensitivity of the EDB was 97 percent for white persons and 95 percent for black persons, but less than 60 percent for all other categories. The positive predictive value was above 96 percent for white, black, and Hispanic persons, but below 80 percent for all others. There was some improvement in accuracy for white persons and black persons from 1991-1997, and larger improvements for the non-black minorities from 1996-1997.

MeSH terms

  • Aged
  • Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services, U.S.*
  • Continental Population Groups / classification*
  • Databases, Factual / standards*
  • Ethnic Groups / classification*
  • Humans
  • Insurance Claim Review / statistics & numerical data
  • Medicare / statistics & numerical data*
  • Quality Control
  • Reproducibility of Results
  • United States