Two new studies indicate minorities receive lower quality care than white patients. The first study found that minorities, the uninsured and Medicaid beneficiaries were less likely to go to high-volume hospitals for complex surgeries than were whites and Medicare beneficiaries. The disparity affected Hispanics more than other minorities, with Hispanics less likely than whites to visit high-volume hospitals for nine of 10 inpatient procedures tracked. Other research has linked high procedure volume to better outcomes. Read the abstract.
The second study found that blacks in Medicare managed-care plans have poorer outcomes than whites -- by a range of 6.8% to 14.4% -- for problems such as diabetes, high cholesterol and high blood pressure. Researchers said the disparity largely persisted even when blacks and whites were enrolled in the same health plans. Both studies will be published in the Journal of the American Medical Association Oct. 25. Read the abstract. -- by Jessica Zigmond