Study: Racial disparity in nursing home staffing | Arkansas Blog

Monday, November 17, 2014

Study: Racial disparity in nursing home staffing

Posted By on Mon, Nov 17, 2014 at 9:24 AM

The Center for Public Integrity has released the third part of its analysis of nursing home data and the latest suggests lower staffing at nursing homes populated by racial minorities.

Earlier installments focused on a disparity between staffing levels reported on a widely used public website and the actual staffing reflected in reimbursement reports and reported that poorly rated nursing homes had qualified for federally subsidized low-interest mortgages.

The latest report said:

Although homes with residents of all racial groups had lower registered nurse staffing levels listed in the cost reports, the discrepancy was particularly pronounced in nursing homes where the majority of residents were either black or Latino. And the overall gap in this type of care for minorities was even more dramatic.

Hundreds of majority-black homes throughout the country were listed in Nursing Home Compare as providing a little more than a half-hour of registered nurse care per day. But the average daily level of registered nurse care at those facilities calculated through the Medicare cost reports was just about 20 minutes a day. Medicare cost data was not available for Alden Wentworth. The amount of registered nurse care is widely considered an important measure of quality care.

This staffing gap was even more stark in nursing homes where Latinos composed more than half of the residents.

“Majority-white” facilities (i.e., where a majority of residents were non-Latino whites) had daily average registered nurse staffing levels that were about 60 percent higher than majority-Latino nursing homes and about 34 percent higher than black facilities, the Center found in its analysis of the Medicare cost reports.

This installment didn't include a full breakdown for each state. The earlier reports showed Arkansas with a broad gap between staffing as reported on the public website and as reported in reimbursement records.

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