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Circulation. 2005 Mar 15;111(10):1257-63.

Racial profiling: the unintended consequences of coronary artery bypass graft report cards.

Author information

  • 1Center for Health Equity Research and Promotion, Philadelphia Veterans Affairs Medical Center, Philadelphia, Pa, USA. rwerner@wharton.upenn.edu

Abstract

BACKGROUND:

Although public release of quality information through report cards is intended to improve health care, there may be unintended consequences of report cards, such as physicians avoiding high-risk patients to improve their ratings. If physicians believe that racial and ethnic minorities are at higher risk for poor outcomes, report cards could worsen existing racial and ethnic disparities in health care.

METHODS AND RESULTS:

To investigate the impact of New York's CABG report card on racial and ethnic disparities in cardiac care, we estimated differences in the use of CABG, PTCA, and cardiac catheterization between white versus black and Hispanic patients hospitalized for acute myocardial infarction in New York before and after New York's first CABG report card was released, adjusting for patient and hospital characteristics and national changes in racial and ethnic disparities in cardiac care. The racial and ethnic disparity in CABG use significantly increased in New York immediately after New York's CABG report card was released, whereas disparities did not change significantly in the comparison states. There was no differential change in racial and ethnic disparities between New York and the comparison states in the use of cardiac catheterization or PTCA after the CABG report card was released. Over time, this increase in racial and ethnic disparities decreased to levels similar to those before the release of report cards.

CONCLUSIONS:

The release of CABG report cards in New York was associated with a widening of the disparity in CABG use between white versus black and Hispanic patients.

PMID:
15769766
[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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