David Barton Smith of Temple University in Philadelphia recently published the results of his study of U.S. government data on 1.5 million patients in 14,374 nursing homes in 2000, covering close to 90 percent of all nursing homes and residents. His conclusion is that elderly and ill blacks in the United States are more likely to live in poor-quality nursing homes.
The report noted that blacks were nearly twice as likely as whites to be located in a nursing home that was subsequently terminated from Medicare and Medicaid participation because of poor quality. Ten of the 20 nursing homes with the greatest disparities in quality of care were in Wisconsin, Indiana, Ohio, and Michigan. In Milwaukee, blacks are more than twice as likely as whites to live in a nursing home with inspection deficiencies, substantial staffing shortages and financial problems.
A sad commentary indeed! Read the Reuters report here.