Saturday, March 18, 2006

More shocking news

An article in the San Francisco Chronicle relays the astonishing news from the New England Journal of Medicine:

Blacks and Hispanics tend to receive slightly better day-to-day medical care than whites when they see a doctor, a large and surprising study has found, starting a new debate about the impact of race on health in America.

The study, the most comprehensive examination of the quality of primary care in the United States, found no significant differences among patients from different ethnic groups or incomes once they get to see a doctor, but a slight trend toward better care for blacks and Hispanics.

The researchers stressed, however, that other disparities in health care do exist. Poor people and minorities, for example, are less likely to see a doctor in the first place and get far less expensive care. In addition, the minor variations among racial groups found in the new study are swamped by the low level of care everyone gets, they said.

"The bottom line of this study is patients are getting about half of recommended care, and it doesn't seem to matter where you live, whether you are white, black or Hispanic, are insured or uninsured," said Steven Asch, who helped conduct the study for the Rand Corp. "Everyone is at equal risk for poor quality of care."

Gosh--now I feel better--we're all in the dumper, together.

From Ace of trumps.

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