Here is a disturbing report: Black nursing home residents in Maryland and Virginia are more likely than white residents to be sent to hospitals for dehydration, poor nutrition, bedsores and other ailments because of a gap in the quality of in-house medical care, according to a new study.

Researchers affiliated with Brown University’s medical school found that 23 percent of black nursing home residents in Maryland were hospitalized in 2000, compared with 17 percent of white residents. In Virginia in 2000, researchers found 20 percent of black nursing home residents were hospitalized, compared with 18 percent of white residents.

Researchers said the findings in the two states reflected a national trend. The study is scheduled to be published in the June issue of the journal Health Services Research.

Why? My guess is that economic factors play a significant role. Nursing homes which rely heavily on Medicaid have lower employee-to-patient ratios and often operate without a nurse practitioner or a medical director, which results in more residents needing to be hospitalized. Whatever the reason….its is a sad commentary on how we care for our elderly!

Dan Frith
Dan Frith

Dan Frith has over 25 years of experience representing individuals and families in cases of medical malpractice throughout Virginia. He has been named "Best Medical Malpractice Attorney" by Roanoker Magazine and is a member of the Million Dollar Advocates Forum. To speak with Dan, contact him by email at