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Keywords:

  • Black-serving hospitals;
  • mortality;
  • disparities

Objective

Hospital care for blacks is concentrated among a small number of hospitals and whether they have worse outcomes across common medical conditions is unknown.

Data Source

We used the 2007 100% Medicare file to calculate 30- and 90-day mortality rates for white and black patients admitted for acute myocardial infarction (AMI), congestive heart failure (CHF), or pneumonia.

Study Design

We ranked all hospitals in the country by their proportion of discharged black patients and identified the top 10 percent of these hospitals as black serving. We examined race-specific adjusted mortality rates and adjusted for differences in hospital characteristics.

Principal Findings

At 30 days, black-serving hospitals had, compared with nonblack-serving hospitals, similar mortality for AMI, lower mortality for CHF, and higher mortality for pneumonia. At 90 days, mortality was higher at black-serving hospitals for both AMI and pneumonia and comparable for CHF compared with nonblack-serving hospitals. White patients had worse outcomes at black-serving hospitals for two conditions at 30 days and all three conditions at 90 days. Blacks also had worse outcomes at black-serving hospitals.

Conclusions

Hospitals with a high proportion of black patients had worse outcomes than other hospitals for both their white and black elderly patients.