To explore the association between quality of care for surgical and pneumonia patients and the racial/ethnic composition of hospitals' patients.
Our primary data were surgical and pneumonia processes of care indicators from the 2012 Medicare Hospital Compare Data. We merged this data with information from the 2011 American Hospital Association Annual Survey of Hospitals. We computed the racial and ethnic composition of hospital patients using 2008 data from the Healthcare Costs and Utilization Project.
The sample included 1,198 acute care general hospitals from 11 states: ,,,,,,,,,, and . We compared quality across minority‐serving, racially integrated, and majority‐white hospitals using unconditional quantile regression models controlling for hospital and market characteristics.
We found quality differences between the lowest performing minority‐serving, racially integrated, and majority‐white hospitals. As we moved from 10th to 90th quantile, the quality differences between hospitals by patients' racial composition disappeared. In other words, the best minority‐serving and racially integrated hospitals performed as well as the best majority hospitals.
Efforts to improve quality of care for patients in minority‐serving and racially integrated hospitals should focus on the lowest performers.