The Challenge

  • The Administration for Community Living (ACL) is an operating division of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services established to support national, state, and local aging and disability networks through various grants and programs. One of its programs provides grants to community-based organizations — known as Benefit Enrollment Centers (BECs) — that help low-income Medicare beneficiaries become aware of and access social support services.
  • ACL selected the BEC Program to undergo an equity assessment in accordance with President Biden’s Executive Order 13985. The purpose of the assessment was to determine whether and to what extent these community-based organizations are reaching eligible beneficiaries among historically underserved and marginalized groups, including people of color.
  • ACL Program Officers had amassed years of program data, but needed assistance processing their internal data, incorporating public data where appropriate, conducting a comprehensive statistical and geospatial analysis, and producing a visually compelling report.

Our Solution

Keybridge employed a mixed-methods approach, combining qualitative and quantitative research methods to produce evidence-based findings on program equity across various dimensions.

  • Access Equity: We conducted geospatial analyses to assess the degree to which BEC services are located in areas with high shares of historically underserved populations (e.g., low-income African American seniors and low-income seniors in rural areas).
  • Output Equity: We integrated BEC service data with granular socioeconomic and demographic data to determine whether BECs located in areas with large shares of historically underserved populations were reaching individuals in these groups.
  • Procedural Equity: We interviewed community-based organizations that became BECs, as well as organizations that applied to the BEC program but did not receive funding to assess equity across the grant-making process.

End Results

  • Keybridge’s analysis helped ACL contribute to a government-wide initiative on best practices in equity assessments while also informing ACL on limitations associated with its existing data and opportunities to improve future equity assessments.
  • Keybridge’s insights will help ACL shape and refine the BEC program to better serve targeted Medicare beneficiaries.
  • Following this successful project, our team was contracted to conduct a separate equity assessment of the broader Medicare Improvements for Patients and Providers Act (MIPPA) Program using a similar methodology.

Using data-driven analysis and stakeholder engagement, Keybridge helps clients understand their “equity quotient” and determine whether services meet the diverse needs of various stakeholders.