To propose and evaluate a metric for quantifying hospital‐specific disparities in health outcomes that can be used by patients and hospitals.
Inpatient admissions for Medicare patients with acute myocardial infarction, heart failure, or pneumonia to all non‐federal, short‐term, acute care hospitals during 2012‐2015.
Building on the current Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services methodology for calculating risk‐standardized readmission rates, we developed models that include a hospital‐specific random coefficient for either patient dual eligibility status or African American race. These coefficients quantify the difference in risk‐standardized outcomes by dual eligibility and race at a given hospital after accounting for the hospital's patient case mix and proportion of dual eligible or African American patients. We demonstrate this approach and report variation and performance in hospital‐specific disparities.
Dual eligibility and African American race were associated with higher readmission rates within hospitals for all three conditions. However, this disparity effect varied substantially across hospitals.
Our models isolate a hospital‐specific disparity effect and demonstrate variation in quality of care for different groups of patients across conditions and hospitals. Illuminating within‐hospital disparities can incentivize hospitals to reduce inequities in health care quality.
Data Sources/Study Setting