Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Racial and ethnic disparities in surgical care identified

Date:
February 15, 2010
Source:
JAMA and Archives Journals
Summary:
Minority patients in New York City appear less likely than white patients to have surgeries performed by surgeons or at facilities that have handled large numbers of similar procedures in the past, according to a new article.

Minority patients in New York City appear less likely than white patients to have surgeries performed by surgeons or at facilities that have handled large numbers of similar procedures in the past, according to a report in the February issue of Archives of Surgery.

Racial and ethnic differences in medical care and health outcomes have been widely documented, according to background information in the article. "One specific concern is whether minorities disproportionately receive treatment from lower-quality providers," the authors write. "While measuring quality accurately is difficult, research has shown mortality [death] to be inversely related to hospital and surgeon volume for many surgical procedures."

Andrew J. Epstein, Ph.D., of the School of Public Health, Yale University, New Haven, Conn., and colleagues selected 10 procedures for which published evidence indicates hospital and surgeon volume influences patients' short-term risk of death (including cancer, cardiovascular and orthopedic surgeries). They then studied 133,821 patients in the New York City area who underwent one of these procedures between 2001 and 2004. Annual procedure volumes were calculated for each hospital and surgeon using a statewide database, and thresholds for high-volume vs. low-volume providers and facilities were determined based on previously published research.

Of the patients, 100,798 (75.3 percent) were white, 17,499 (13.1 percent) were black, 4,249 (3.2 percent) were Asian and 11,275 (8.4 percent) were Hispanic. For all ten procedures, white patients were more frequently treated by high-volume surgeons and at high-volume facilities than were black, Asian or Hispanic patients.

"Even after adjusting for a broad range of relevant factors, compared with white patients, treatment at high-volume hospitals by high-volume surgeons was lower by 11.8 percentage points for black patients, 8 percentage points for Asian patients and 7 percentage points for Hispanic patients on average across the 10 study procedures," the authors write.

Two possible explanations for disparities in provider selection have been discussed in previous research, the authors note. One -- that systematic barriers including geography and financial incentives keep minority patients from higher-quality providers -- was mitigated by the researchers' decisions to focus on the New York City metropolitan area and to control for a range of variables that could affect which providers are used.

"Another hypothesis posits racial/ethnic differences in access to or use of information about provider quality," the authors conclude. "In addition to efforts to improve the quality of care among providers serving minority patients, policymakers and clinicians may be able to improve outcomes by encouraging minority patients and their surrogates to consider comparative performance information when choosing hospitals and surgeons."

This study was supported by the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, the Agency for Health Care Research and Quality and the Commonwealth Fund.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by JAMA and Archives Journals. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Journal Reference:

  1. Andrew J. Epstein, PhD; Bradford H. Gray, PhD; Mark Schlesinger, PhD. Racial and Ethnic Differences in the Use of High-Volume Hospitals and Surgeons. Arch Surg, 2010;145(2):179-186 [link]

Cite This Page:

JAMA and Archives Journals. "Racial and ethnic disparities in surgical care identified." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 15 February 2010. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2010/02/100215174121.htm>.
JAMA and Archives Journals. (2010, February 15). Racial and ethnic disparities in surgical care identified. ScienceDaily. Retrieved September 2, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2010/02/100215174121.htm
JAMA and Archives Journals. "Racial and ethnic disparities in surgical care identified." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2010/02/100215174121.htm (accessed September 2, 2014).

Share This




More Health & Medicine News

Tuesday, September 2, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Get on Your Bike! London Cycling Popularity Soars Despite Danger

Get on Your Bike! London Cycling Popularity Soars Despite Danger

AFP (Sep. 1, 2014) Wedged between buses, lorries and cars, cycling in London isn't for the faint hearted. Nevertheless the number of people choosing to bike in the British capital has doubled over the past 15 years. Duration: 02:27 Video provided by AFP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Can You Train Your Brain To Eat Healthy?

Can You Train Your Brain To Eat Healthy?

Newsy (Sep. 1, 2014) New research says if you condition yourself to eat healthy foods, eventually you'll crave them instead of junk food. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
We've Got Mites Living In Our Faces And So Do You

We've Got Mites Living In Our Faces And So Do You

Newsy (Aug. 30, 2014) A new study suggests 100 percent of adult humans (those over 18 years of age) have Demodex mites living in their faces. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Liberia Continues Fight Against Ebola

Liberia Continues Fight Against Ebola

AFP (Aug. 30, 2014) Authorities in Liberia try to stem the spread of the Ebola epidemic by raising awareness and setting up sanitation units for people to wash their hands. Duration: 00:41 Video provided by AFP
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:

Breaking News:
from the past week

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile: iPhone Android Web
Follow: Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe: RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins