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  1. #1
    Senior Member cvangel's Avatar
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    Nov 2006

    Elderly Hispanics face disparity in health care

    As someone who works in the healthcare field I am appalled at this study and I cry BS to this:

    Elderly Hispanics face disparity in health careTheir hospitals give lower-quality care, study finds.By Tracy Correa / The Fresno Bee03/10/08 21:09:22More information
    Report on Hispanic patients

    Most elderly Hispanic patients are treated at hospitals that provide lower-quality health care for common medical conditions, according to a new study by Harvard School of Public Medicine.

    The study looked at hospitals in 30 regions throughout the country, including Fresno.

    Published today in the March/April 2008 issue of Health Affairs, it reinforces a racial and ethnic divide demonstrated in a June 2007 Harvard study on elderly black patients, researchers said.

    "These studies demonstrate a high degree of segregation in the U.S. health care system," said Ashish K. Jha, lead researcher on both studies. Jha is assistant professor of health policy and management at Harvard School of Public Health.

    Both studies were paid for by the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation. The foundation, one of the nation's largest philanthropic organizations, is based in Princeton, N.J., and focuses on improving health and health-care needs in the United States.

    The studies found that elderly blacks and elderly Hispanics receive care in just 5% of U.S. hospitals. The study also found that hospitals that disproportionately served minorities struggle more with providing high-quality care.

    Specifically, many of the hospitals provided lower-quality care for three common medical conditions: heart attacks, congestive heart failure and pneumonia.

    Jha said Fresno was one of the 30 regions selected because of its large Hispanic population.

    "The quality of care of every hospital in the [Fresno] region was examined," he said. But he couldn't specify how each Fresno hospital measured up.

    Community Regional Medical Center, which sees a large number of Hispanic patients, was one of the hospitals examined, Jha said.

    Jha said Community scored poorly in data used for the study from a U.S. Department of Health and Human Services Web site that compares how hospitals care for adult patients with certain medical conditions. The data can be found at

    Community fared poorly on several of the benchmarks. For example, 63% of patients with pneumonia were given a flu vaccine. The average for hospitals in Northern and Central California was 66% and the national average was 75%.

    Also at Community, according to the government benchmark data, an ACE inhibitor -- a common medication for a particular type of heart attack -- was being given only 76% of the time, Jha said. The national average was 84%.

    Overall, most of the hospitals that treat a large number of elderly Hispanics had low marks, according to the Harvard study. Researchers suggest the reason hospitals might provide lower-quality care is the financial stress of caring for poor patients.

    John Zelezny, spokesman for Community Medical Centers, said it was difficult to comment because he hasn't seen the report. Community operates Community Regional Medical Center in downtown Fresno, a safety-net hospital that treats most of the area's poor.

    He said he "didn't have any reason to disagree" that Community treats a large number of elderly Hispanic patients, but questioned the report's conclusions.

    Zelezny said sometimes such studies raise more questions than answers and he wanted to know more about the patient population reviewed and the comparison to other groups.

    "I'm not sure, based on what I've heard, what conclusions can be drawn," he said. However, he said, "a lot of hospitals today are not geared toward taking care of the elderly."

    A couple of things stood out in the latest study, Jha said. One is that these hospitals tend to have a higher percentage of Medicare and poor patients, lower nurse-to-patient staffing ratios and generally lower reimbursement rates.

    The study listed the best- and worst-performing hospitals with a high proportion of Hispanic patients, based on 2004 data.

    Top performers included Harlington Medical Center in Texas, City Hospital Center in Elmhurst, N.Y., and St. John Regional Medical Center in Oxnard.

    Bottom performers were South Beach Community Hospital in Miami Beach, Community and Mission Hospital of Huntington Park, and Pioneers Memorial Healthcare District in Brawley.

    Jha said most of the problems found at these hospitals could and should be fixed. "We know that an ACE inhibitor is a common medication with a particular kind of heart attack; everyone agrees this is the right thing to do and hospitals should be doing it 100% of the time," he said.

    Dr. Bruce Siegel, research professor at George Washington University Medical Center, School of Public Health and Health Services, said the study confirms big gaps in the quality and equity of care in America. Despite disparities between hospitals and the number of lower-income patients they treat, "it doesn't have to be that way," he said.

    "If hospitals are willing to focus on quality of care for all patients, we can change this," Siegel said.
    The reporter can be reached at or (559) 441-6378.

  2. #2
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Jan 2008
    This report is so skewed in favor of one ethnic group, (as usual) that it's a joke.

    Who was your control group ( I would assume elderly caucasions) and why were those findings not not published?

    Could it be that elderly people in general suffer a disparity in the quality of health care they receive. Or perhaps those patiens in the study were on Medicare which accounts for the disparity in quality of health care?

    Statistics always need to be considered in light of any possible agenda one may have as you can manipulate statistics in order to validate any conclusion you care to reach.
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