Health Policy & Advocacy
Basic InformationMore InformationLatest News
When Drug Companies Raise Prices, Patients' Out-of-Pocket Costs RiseMost Top U.S. Surgeons Are White and That's Not ChangingAmericans Missed Almost 10 Million Cancer Screenings During PandemicU.S. Birth Rates Continue to FallBiden Sets New Goal of Vaccinating 70% of Americans by July 41 in 3 Neighborhoods in Major U.S. Cities Is a 'Pharmacy Desert'You Got Your COVID Shot: What to Do With That Vaccine CardFinding a Doctor Is Tough and Getting Tougher in Rural AmericaUrgent Care or the ER? Which Should You Choose?FDA Poised to Ban Menthol CigarettesPoll Reveals Who's Most Vaccine-Hesitant in America and WhyAHA News: Food, Culture and the Secret Ingredient to Address Lack of Diversity in Nutrition FieldCDC Decision on Johnson & Johnson Vaccine Pause Expected FridayAHA News: How to Make Sure Everyone Gets a Fair Shot at the COVID-19 VaccineLittle Progress in Boosting Numbers of Black American DoctorsHigh-Profile Police Brutality Cases Harm Black Americans' Mental Health: StudyAHA News: Could the Pandemic Help Boost Diversity in Clinical Trials?Americans Still Avoiding ERs in Pandemic, But Uptick Seen in Mental Health CrisesCDC Panel Says It Needs More Time to Study J&J Vaccine Clotting CasesAHA News: 5 Things to Know This Earth Day About How the Environment Affects Health4 in 10 Adults Over 50 Consult Online Reviews When Picking a DoctorCBD or THC? Cannabis Product Labels Often Mislead, Study FindsPandemic Has Put Many Clinical Trials on HoldDespite Pandemic's Toll, Many Older Adults Don't Have Living Wills'Heart-in-a-Box' Can Be Lifesaving, Matching Up Distant Donors With PatientsPublic Lost Trust in CDC During COVID Crisis: PollNearly 8 in 10 School, Child Care Staff Have Gotten at Least 1 Dose of COVID Vaccine: CDCWhy Are ER Wait Times Getting Longer for Kids in Mental Health Crisis?Buying Your Own Health Insurance Just Got Way Less ExpensiveStrain of COVID Care Has Many Health Professionals Looking for an ExitBlack Americans Often Face Discrimination in Health CareHow Willing Are Americans to Donate COVID Vaccines to Other Countries?Too Few Minorities in U.S. Health Care Workforce: ReportBlack Patients Often Treated at Hospitals With Poorer Safety Records: ReportDon't Delay Your Cancer Screenings, Surgeons' Group UrgesBiden Administration Working on 'Vaccine Passport' InitiativeStates Race to Vaccinate Their ResidentsFDA Clamping Down on Abuse of an OTC  DecongestantShortage of Primary Care Doctors Is Costing American LivesStudy Finds Growing Acceptance of COVID Vaccine by U.S. Health Care Workers'Avoidable Hospitalizations:' Another Way the Pandemic Is Tougher on MinoritiesOn-the-Road Help: 'Mobile Stroke Units' Are Saving People's LivesTalks With Doctors May Be Key to Vaccine Acceptance: StudyAs U.S. Vaccinations Rise, Are 'Vaccine Passports' for Americans Coming?Begin Routine Diabetes Screening at 35 for Overweight, Obese Americans: Task Force'Race Gap' in U.S. Heart Health Has Changed Little in 20 Years: ReportDriven by Anti-Vaxxers, Measles Outbreaks Cost Everyone MoneyScams Await Many Americans Desperate to Get COVID VaccineMore Americans Would Get Lung Cancer Screening Under New GuidelinesGlobal Warming Could Make Survival in Tropics Impossible: Study
Related Topics

Health Insurance

Black Patients Often Treated at Hospitals With Poorer Safety Records: Report

HealthDay News
by By Alan Mozes HealthDay Reporter
Updated: Mar 30th 2021

new article illustration

TUESDAY, March 30, 2021 (HealthDay News) -- Compared with white patients, Black adults are at a distinct disadvantage when it comes to hospital safety in the United States, a new report warns.

Black patients are significantly less likely to gain access to "high-quality" hospitals, an Urban Institute analysis found. As a result, they're much more likely to undergo surgical procedures in facilities with relatively poor safety records.

"We've known that Black and white adult patients experience differences in hospital patient safety measures for several decades," said study author Anuj Gangopadhyaya. He is a senior research associate at the institute's Health Policy Center.

"This study's focus was to ask whether these differences are, in part, driven by differences in the quality of hospitals that Black and white patients are able to access," he said.

The answer: yes.

For the study, researchers for the institute, a think tank in Washington, D.C., analyzed 2017 patient data gathered by the U.S. Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality from 26 states. The report, released Monday, looked at 11 safety measures. Four concerned general medical safety issues, such as pressure ulcer rates and in-hospital falls with hip fractures. The other seven involved surgical safety, including hemorrhage, post-op infections and respiratory failure rates.

"On nine of 11 patient safety measures, white patients were significantly more likely to be admitted into high-quality hospitals," said Gangopadhyaya. High-quality hospitals were defined as those with the best safety track records.

Some of the highest-quality hospitals essentially present zero safety risk to patients, which indicates "there are clearly protocols in place that can virtually eliminate some of these patient safety risks," he noted.

"Put simply," Gangopadhyaya said, "the payoff in being admitted into a high-quality hospital relative to a low-quality one is extremely large."

The report revealed that Black patients are nearly 8 percentage points more likely than white patients to get admitted to hospitals that rank as "low-quality" by all seven measures used to assess surgery-related patient safety.

Seen in reverse, Black patients were also found to be 5 percentage points less likely to gain access to facilities ranking "high-quality" on every measure of surgical safety.

Differences in insurance coverage didn't explain the racial divide, the report found. Even when solely looking at white and Black patients who sought care with the same type of coverage -- Medicare -- the findings of a racial gap held up. In terms of overall patient safety, Blacks fared worse.

The analysis did not explore why Black people are at such a safety disadvantage.

But Delmonte Jefferson, executive director of the Center for Black Health & Equity in Durham, N.C., said the findings reflect a longstanding racial care divide.

"The underlying reason for the gaps that are identified stem from elements of systemic racism and institutional oppression that restricts access to quality health care," he said.

"We've battled these elements since The Freedmen's Bureau Act -- the nation's first federal health care program -- was established in the War Department by an act of Congress in 1865 to provide relief, educational activities, food, clothing and medicine to newly freed slaves," Jefferson said.

"Even then, lawmakers removed language from the act that would provide quality access to medical care for all," he noted.

So what can be done?

Gangopadhyaya said current efforts aimed at penalizing low-quality hospitals and/or cutting off Medicare reimbursements in the face of poor safety records are "ineffective" at rectifying racial safety gaps.

"An alternative approach may be to provide resources to low-quality institutions to enable them to adopt and implement protocols that have been successful at high-quality hospitals," he said.

But Jefferson rounded back to what he described as the root of the problem.

"If the root is systemic racism and institutional oppression, then we must root out the cancerous and infected systems," he said. "In some cases, a complete overhaul of systems is required. In other cases, enforcement of existing health care policies and practices could alleviate the problem."

As Jefferson sees it, "hospital systems are not penalized for not providing access to quality care for all. Not only should substantial consequences be enacted, they should be strenuously enforced."

More information

There's more about racial health disparities at the Center for Black Health & Equity.

SOURCES: Anuj Gangopadhyaya, PhD, senior research associate, Health Policy Center, Urban Institute, Washington, D.C.; Delmonte Jefferson, executive director, Center for Black Health & Equity, Durham, N.C.; Urban Institute, analysis, March 29, 2021

328 W. Claiborne St.
P.O. Box 964
Alabama 36460
Tel: (251)575-4203

powered by centersite dot net