Study: Blacks and His­pan­ics re­port low-qual­ity hos­pice care

Modern Healthcare - - NEWS - By Maria Castel­lucci

The find­ings are con­sis­tent with other stud­ies that com­pare the qual­ity of treat­ment be­tween mi­nor­ity pa­tients and whites.

Black and His­panic pa­tients are more likely to re­ceive low-qual­ity care from hospices com­pared with whites, ac­cord­ing to a new study from RAND Corp.

Fam­ily care­givers for black and His­panic pa­tients re­ported lower qual­ity scores com­pared with white pa­tients. The pa­tients had less ac­cess to timely care and were less likely to re­port that fam­ily mem­bers were treated with re­spect.

The find­ings are con­sis­tent with other stud­ies that com­pare the qual­ity of treat­ment be­tween mi­nor­ity pa­tients and whites, the study au­thors note. Other stud­ies have found that black and His­panic pa­tients are more prone to poor qual­ity care across most health­care set­tings.

It’s dif­fi­cult to know why this dis­par­ity ex­ists, but it could be be­cause blacks and His­pan­ics are more likely to live in ur­ban and ru­ral ar­eas where health­care qual­ity is usu­ally poorer, said Re­becca Price, lead au­thor of the study and a se­nior pol­icy re­searcher at RAND Corp.

Price and her co-au­thors an­a­lyzed sur­vey re­sponses from nearly 300,000 fam­ily mem­bers who were hos­pice care­givers and com­pleted the CMS’ Con­sumer As­sess­ment of Health­care Providers and Sys­tems Hos­pice Sur­vey from April 2015 to March 2016. The care­givers were from al­most 2,500 hospices in all 50 states.

Fam­ily care­givers of black and His­panic pa­tients said the emo­tional and re­li­gious sup­port pro­vided by hos­pice teams didn’t meet their needs com­pared with care­givers of white pa­tients. This was par­tic­u­larly true for care­givers of His­panic pa­tients, who were sig­nif­i­cantly more likely to say that they re­ceived “too much” emo­tional sup­port.

Price said it’s im­por­tant for hospices to work to un­der­stand their pa­tient pop­u­la­tions and their unique cul­tural needs by of­fer­ing lan­guage trans­la­tors or work­ing with faith-based or­ga­ni­za­tions to ac­com­mo­date a chap­lain or pas­tor on-site.

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