Thursday, June 12, 2008

news: study shows racial, regional disparities in health care


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A recent study examining Medicare claims for evidence of racial and regional disparities found signs of both. The racial disparities within regions were striking, but even more significant were the differences in treatment between groups of racial minorities living in different states.

Research Finds Wide Disparities in Health Care by Race and Region

For instance, 72 percent of blacks in Massachusetts were screened for breast cancer, while only 48 percent of blacks in California were. Eighty-eight percent of blacks in Massachusetts were screened for diabetes, while only 66 percent of blacks in Colorado were.

The Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, which sponsored the study, announced a three-year $300 million plan this week to narrow these disparities. Fourteen regions will receive the funds. The Foundation also hopes to learn more about the causes of the disparities through the program.

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