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Arch Intern Med. 1992 Aug;152(8):1596-603.

Severity of illness and resource use differences among white and black hospitalized elderly.

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  • 1CIGNA Employees' Benefits Company, National Medical, Bloomfield, Conn.

Abstract

BACKGROUND:

Disparities between races in access to health care services continue to exist. We examined differences in illness severity, charges, and length of stay between white and black hospitalized elderly.

METHODS:

The study sample was 1184 elderly patients. Data using the Computerized Severity Index were collected for admission, maximum throughout the stay, and discharge.

RESULTS:

Blacks were admitted significantly more severely ill than whites. At discharge, 96% were severity level 1. At each severity level, blacks had significantly shorter hospitalizations and lower charges. The differences were not explained by disease, surgery, age, sex, hospital, and payer.

CONCLUSIONS:

Admission severity disparities may exist because of patients' decisions to seek care or provider admitting practices. We need to study whether differences in severity-adjusted resource use are due to underutilization for blacks or overutilization for whites.

PMID:
1497393
[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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