Possible Inequalities In Preventative Care Due To Race

Date: September 10, 2014

Possible Inequalities in Preventative Care Due To Race

A recent study that was published in June titled “Racial/Ethnic Disparities in Preventive Care Practice among U.S. Nursing Home Residents” has presented alarming information regarding imbalances between patient’s care in which racial discrimination could be a factor. The definition of this type of discrepancy by The Institute of Medicine is stated as “a difference in treatment provided to a member of a different racial or ethnic group that is not justified by the underlying health conditions or treatment preferences of patients.” Researchers surveyed thousands of nursing home patients and retained information regarding their “pain management, behavior management, skin/wound care, continence management, restorative care, toilet retraining, and vaccinations.” The results of this study, conducted from 1995 to 2004, show a discrepancy in the preventative care given to the races of White non-Hispanic, blacks and other races/ethnicities. White Non-Hispanics in the study are more likely to receive certain treatments such as vaccines and care than did Blacks and other races/ethnicities.

According to the information presented in the study, there are three factors that could affect a difference in care among patients. The first being the patient’s preference, second is the operation of the healthcare system and lastly discrimination and/or biases. From the results of the surveys and other secondary information, the researchers have concluded that despite the limitations and other factors that could affect these results, the discrepancy or care due to race/ethnicity is still significant enough to be duly noted.

Something that can be taken from this study is the importance of considering intentional and unintentional actions that could be affecting your loved one’s quality of care in the nursing home. In this particular situation regarding possible discrimination of race, certain actions can be deliberate but also accidental. However, a discrepancy can also be in other categories such as age, religion, gender, the type of health condition and many more. Every measure should be taken in order for your loved one to receive not only the best quality care he/she can receive, but also fair treatment in comparison to similar cases.

Sean McDonough has a partner in the Dougherty, Leventhal and Price law firm for over twenty years. He specializes in person injury with an emphasis in nursing home abuse. If you suspect nursing home abuse, don’t wait until it’s too late! Make sure your loved one is given the care that he/she deserves. Call DLP and make an appointment with Attorney Sean McDonough today.

All information from this blog post was from the following:
http://jah.sagepub.com.ezp.scranton.edu/content/26/4/519.full

Sean McDonough
Upon graduation from law school, he entered the private practice of law with Dougherty, Leventhal & Price. He has been a partner with the firm since 1993. Over the years, Sean has concentrated his practice in the areas of personal injury litigation; he has also represented governmental entities and officials in federal civil rights and employment lawsuits. Sean also works on many of DLP's Nursing Home Abuse cases.