Background: Research increasingly shows that blacks with coronary heart disease (CHD) are treated at lower-quality hospitals. Little is known about racial differences in admission to high-quality hospitals. Methods: We identified all black and white Medicare patients with acute myocardial infarction and coronary artery bypass grafting (CABG) admitted during 2002 through 2005 to hospitals located in markets with top-ranked cardiac hospitals, as ascertained from the US News and World Report "America's Best Hospitals" annual rankings. The relationship between race and admission to top-ranked hospitals was estimated using multinomial conditional logit models to account for distance from patient residence to all available hospitals. Results: In unadjusted analyses, blacks with AMI or undergoing CABG, compared with whites, were more likely to be admitted to top-ranked hospitals (18.3% vs 10.5% and 34.4% vs 22.7% [P<.001]) but also more likely to bypass top-ranked hospitals (25.8% vs 14.7% and 37.5% vs 26.3% [P<.001]). In models accounting for distance, blacks with acute myocardial infarction were more likely (odds ratio [OR], 1.12; 95% confidence interval [CI], 1.08-1.16 [P<.001]), whereas blacks undergoing CABG were equally likely (OR, 1.05; 95% CI, 0.97-1.13; P=.27) to be admitted to top-ranked hospitals compared with whites. However, within socially disadvantaged zip codes, blacks undergoing CABG were less likely to receive care at top-ranked hospitals (OR, 0.75; 95% CI, 0.64-0.86 [P<.001]) compared with whites and more likely to bypass top-ranked hospitals located closer to their residence (OR, 1.16; 95% CI, 1.02-1.30 [P=.03]). Conclusion: Black Medicare patients with acute myocardial infarction or undergoing CABG were equally or more likely to be admitted to top-ranked hospitals, except for socially disadvantaged black patients undergoing CABG.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Internal Medicine