Study: Blacks and Hispanics report low-quality hospice care
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.