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J Natl Med Assoc. 2011 Jan;103(1):31-5.

Disparities in the utilization of high-volume hospitals for total hip replacement.

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Department of Orthopaedic Surgery, University of California Los Angeles, 10945 Le Conte Ave., PVUB #3355, Los Angeles, CA 90095, USA.



Higher hospital surgical volumes have been associated with lower complication rates following total-hip replacement. The objective of this study was to identify the characteristics of patients who undergo total-hip replacement at high-volume hospitals and their differences from those who receive care at low-volume hospitals.


Discharge data from patients undergoing total hip replacement in California from 1995 to 2005 were analyzed. Hospitals were classified into 3 tiers of low, intermediate, or high surgical volume. The relationships between race/ethnicity and income to utilization of low-volume and high-volume hospitals were examined by creating logistic regression models that include patient covariates such as age, gender, and comorbidity.


This study analyzed 138399 cases of primary total-hip replacements during the study period. Patients of Hispanic ethnicity, or black or Asian race had higher relative risk ratios for being treated at a low-volume center compared to white patients.


There are disparities in the characteristics of patients receiving care at hospitals performing a high volume or low volume of total-hip replacements. Hispanic ethnicity, and black and Asian race were statistically significant predictors of utilization of a low-volume hospital.

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