To determine the degree to which racial and ethnic disparities in the use of postacute rehabilitation care () are explained by observed characteristics.
State inpatient databases (s) for 2005 and 2006 from four diverse states were used to identify patients with stays for joint replacement, stroke, or hip fracture.
Our primary outcomes were use of institutional (versus discharge home) and, conditional on discharge to an institution, skilled nursing facility (versus inpatient rehabilitation facility) care. We modified the Oaxaca–Blinder decomposition method to account for the dichotomous outcome and multilevel nature of the data.
Discharges from the four s were included if the principal diagnosis (stroke, hip fracture) or procedure (joint replacement) was in the sample inclusion criteria.
Observed characteristics explained roughly half of the unadjusted differences in use of institutional . Patient‐level factors (clinical, age) were more explanatory of disparities in institutional use, while hospital‐level factors were more explanatory of skilled nursing facility versus inpatient rehabilitation facility care.
Adjustment for characteristics influencing use both mitigated and exacerbated racial/ethnic disparities in use. The degree to which the characteristics explained the disparity varied across conditions and outcomes.
Data Collection/Extraction Methods