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Agency for Healthcare Research Quality

Evaluation of a Learning Collaborative's Process and Effectiveness to Reduce Health Care Disparities Among Minority Populations

Final Report

To improve its services continuously, the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) evaluates its programs to examine the performance of those programs in achieving their objectives. An important part of the HHS evaluation function is communicating the findings and recommendations of the evaluation studies.

This report evaluates a program of the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality (AHRQ). It was prepared by Mathematica Policy Research, Inc., under Contract No. 232-02-0086.

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By Marsha Gold, Erin Fries Taylor, Katherine Gruene Segersten, Patrick Doreian, Jennifer Coughlan, Debra Lipson


Executive Summary
Chapter I. Introduction and Purposes
   A. Overview of the Evaluation
   B. Purposes of this Report and Data Sources Used
   C. Content of the Final Report
Chapter II. Description of the Collaborative
   A. Organizations Participating in the Collaborative
   B. Collaborative Structure
   C. Context for Judging the Success of the Collaborative
Chapter III. Firm Perspectives on Disparities and Commitment to the Collaborative
   A. Overview of Key Findings
   B. Why Were Firms Participating?
   C. What Did Firms Hope to Achieve?
   D. How was Firm Leadership in the Collaborative Positioned Within Each Organization?
   E. What Were Firms' Perspectives on Disparities?
   F. What Effect Did the Collaborative Have on Firm Commitments to Addressing Disparities?
Chapter IV. Data to Support Work on Disparities
   A. Summary of Findings
   B. The Challenges in Capturing Racial and Ethnic Data
   C. Experience with Geocoding and Surname Analysis
   D. Firm Efforts to Collect Race and Ethnicity Data
   E. HEDIS Data Submission on Common Measures
Chapter V. Intervening to Reduce Disparities
   A. Summary of Findings
   B. Expectations for Interventions Changed over Time
   C. Implementation Experience
   D. Challenges Facing Firms
   E. Intervention Role and Importance at Firms
Chapter VI. Building Communication and Dissemination Infrastructure
   A. Overview of Findings
   B. Rationale for Communications and Dissemination
   C. Major Communication and Dissemination Activities
   D. Perspectives on Communications Support
Chapter VII. Perspectives on the Collaborative's Infrastructure and Process
   A. Summary of Findings
   B. Strength of Collaboration: Insights from the Network Analysis
   C. Firm Perspectives on Communication Within the Collaborative
   D. The Contribution of Sponsors/Support Organizations
   E. Firm Perceptions of Resources Involved in Collaboration
   F. Issues for Future Consideration
Chapter VIII. Accomplishments, Sustainability and Insights for Phase II
   A. Main Accomplishments and Their Sustainability
   B. Future Plans for Phase II
   C. Insights Relevant to Phase II
Appendix A: Additional Detail on Round 2 and 3 Interviews
Appendix B: Background on the Collaborative and Its Origins
Appendix C: Network Analysis


Cynthia Palmer of the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality (AHRQ) served as project officer and provided valuable insights and guidance to this report.

Many individuals from the firms participating in the National Health Plan Collaborative provided useful insights into their activities and concerns that are addressed in the report. The cooperation and feedback of these individuals was invaluable to this evaluation.

Additionally, many individuals from sponsor and support organizations of the National Health Plan Collaborative offered valuable perspectives on the goals, history, activities, and progress of the Collaborative, including Allen Freemont (RAND), David Intracaso (formerly of AHRQ), Tracy Jacobs (Institute for Healthcare Improvement), Andrea Kabcenell (Institute for Healthcare Improvement), Nicki Lurie (RAND), Connie Martin (Center for Health Care Strategies), Paul Quirk (GMMB), Stephen Somers (Center for Health Care Strategies), David Stevens (AHRQ), Anne Weiss (Robert Wood Johnson Foundation), Minna Young (Robert Wood Johnson Foundation), and others.

At Mathematica, Judith Wooldridge provided valuable feedback and suggestions on earlier drafts of this report. Daryl Hall and Caitlin Johnson provided editorial assistance, and Felita Buckner produced the paper.

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Current as of December 20, 2006

Internet Citation:

Evaluation of a Learning Collaborative's Process and Effectiveness to Reduce Health Care Disparities Among Minority Populations. Program Evaluation. December 2006. Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality, Rockville, MD.


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