Study Says Health Care Housing with Black Patients Have Worse Care

Researchers they cannot find direct cause-and-effect

A new shocking study states that United State’s nursing homes with a high proportion of african american residents seem to deliver lesser care and perform worse overall financially than those homes with no or few minority patients.

Long-term care facilities that do not have black residents see higher revenue and profit margins, while the health care appears to be better. This, according to the numbers collected from a study that looked at 11,000 U.S. Nursing homes.

The tiered system seems partially due to the fact that african american residents more heavily rely on Medicaid than their white counterparts. Meanwhile, the reimbursement relates under the Medicaid plan are considerably lower than private payment structures, according to the study.

With that in mind, according to one researcher, money is not the entire story. “It isn’t only the financial performance [of nursing homes] that affects performance,” said Latarsha Chisholm, assistant professor at the University of Central Florida and lead author of the study published recently in Health Services Research. “There has to be something else affecting quality,” Chisholm said.

“I want to understand what management practices promote improved care in nursing homes with high proportions of minorities that don’t have disparities in care,” she added.

The study itself focused on data spanning from 1999 to 2004, with around 11,500 freestanding housing structures certified for medicare or medicaid. Government facilities were not looked at within the study. Data that was pulled from the Medicare cost reports were also excluded. The data included both operating cost as well as economic income. Revenue and operating costs adjusted for the number of patients per day was included as well.

Researchers noted they failed to find a cause-and-effect relationship between racial type and the nursing home’s performance.

American Health Care Association senior vice president of public affairs Greg Crist stated that skilled nursing care center are always committed to the best in care. “We remain focused on ensuring person-centered care for each individual’s unique needs, even despite chronic Medicaid underfunding,” he added.

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