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VOLUME 48 | NUMBER 1 | FEBRUARY 2013


Outcomes for Whites and Blacks at Hospitals That Disproportionately Care for Black Medicare Beneficiaries

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Keywords: Black-serving hospitals; mortality; disparities

Objective: Hospital care for blacks is concentrated among a small number of hospitals and whether they have worse outcomes across common medical conditions is unknown.

Data Source: We used the 2007 100% Medicare file to calculate 30- and 90-day mortality rates for white and black patients admitted for acute myocardial infarction (AMI), congestive heart failure (CHF), or pneumonia.

Study Design: We ranked all hospitals in the country by their proportion of discharged black patients and identified the top 10 percent of these hospitals as black serving. We examined race-specific adjusted mortality rates and adjusted for differences in hospital characteristics.

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Principal Findings: At 30 days, black-serving hospitals had, compared with nonblack-serving hospitals, similar mortality for AMI, lower mortality for CHF, and higher mortality for pneumonia. At 90 days, mortality was higher at black-serving hospitals for both AMI and pneumonia and comparable for CHF compared with nonblack-serving hospitals. White patients had worse outcomes at black-serving hospitals for two conditions at 30 days and all three conditions at 90 days. Blacks also had worse outcomes at black-serving hospitals.

Conclusions: Hospitals with a high proportion of black patients had worse outcomes than other hospitals for both their white and black elderly patients.

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