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Med Care. 2002 Jun;40(6):451-60.

Disparity in total hip replacement affecting Hispanic Medicare beneficiaries.

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  • 1Division of Clinical Immunology and Rheumatology, Department of Medicine, University of Texas Health Science Center at San Antonio, 78229, USA.



To compare the utilization of total hip replacement (THR) between Hispanic persons and non-Hispanic persons in a sample with health insurance.


Case-control study using Medicare claims data.


The cases were Medicare beneficiaries from Arizona, Illinois, New Mexico, or Texas who underwent a primary THR. The controls were Medicare beneficiaries who did not receive a THR, matched by age, sex, and county of residence.


Beneficiary surnames and the race indicator in Medicare records were used to classify beneficiaries' probability of being Hispanic. Conditional logistic regression was used to estimate the odds of receiving of THR, adjusting for Medicaid eligibility.


Six thousand four hundred thirty-seven recipients of a primary THR were matched to 12,874 controls. According to the Medicare race indicator, 1% of recipients of THR and 3.3% of controls were Hispanic (P < or =0.001). The odds of THR decreased as the probability of Hispanic ethnicity increased, from an odds ratio (OR) of 1.00 among beneficiaries with non-Hispanic surnames, to an OR of 0.36 among those with heavily Hispanic surnames (95% CI, 0.31, 0.43). Poverty, as reflected by eligibility for Medicaid, did not modify the low odds of THR among Hispanic persons (OR, 0.25 among Medicaid-eligible Hispanic persons; 95% CI, 0.19, 0.33; and OR, 0.30 among Hispanic persons not Medicaid eligible; 95% CI, 0.24, 0.38).


Hispanic persons with Medicare receive THR at lower rates than do non-Hispanic persons. Because Medicare covers THR, our findings suggest that under utilization of THR by Hispanic persons cannot be attributed to lack of health insurance alone.

[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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