Black Patients Less Likely to Receive Home Health Care

In HealthDay News
by Healthday

Findings seen despite similar hospital discharge readiness scores as White patients

By Lori Solomon HealthDay Reporter

TUESDAY, Jan. 2, 2024 (HealthDay News) — Despite similar hospital discharge readiness scores, Black patients are less likely to be discharged with home health care (HHC) than White patients, according to a study published in the January issue of Medical Care.

Olga Yakusheva, Ph.D., from the University of Michigan School of Nursing in Ann Arbor, and colleagues examined how the association of nurse assessments of patients’ readiness for discharge with referral to HHC services at the time of hospital discharge differs by race and ethnic minority group. The analysis included data from 14,684 Medicare beneficiaries seen at 31 U.S. hospitals.

The researchers found that adjusted Readiness for Hospital Discharge Scale (RHDS) scores were similar for non-Hispanic White (8.21), non-Hispanic Black (8.20), Hispanic (7.92), and other race/ethnicity patients (8.09). Among patients with low RHDS scores (≤6), non-Hispanic Black patients were less likely than non-Hispanic White patients to be discharged with an HHC referral (26.8 versus 32.6 percent).

“With Black patients, the difference in referral rates was observed against the combined backdrop of the elevated risk profile in addition to poor observed outcome of care,” Yakusheva said in a statement. “So, for Black patients, the observed data are consistent with a potential failure of the health care system to provide appropriate care.”

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