University of Central Florida Scholar Examines Racial Disparities in Nursing Home Care

A new study, published in the journal Health Services Research, finds nursing homes with a high percentage of Black residents offer inferior care and are in worse shape financially than nursing homes in which a large percentage of the residents are White.

latarsha_chisholmThe researchers, led by lead author Latarsha Chisholm, an assistant professor of health management and informatics at the University of Central Florida in Orlando, examined the financial records of more than 11,000 nursing homes in the United States. They also looked at quality care measures such as the ratio of staff to patients, documentation of medication errors, and deficiency citations from government agencies.

The results showed that nursing homes with high percentages of Black residents tended to have lower costs, lower revenues, and tighter operating margins. These nursing homes also tend to score lower on quality care measures.

Dr. Chisholm told HealthDay that “It isn’t only the financial performance of the nursing homes that affects performance. There has to be something else affecting quality. I want to understand what management practices promote improved care nursing homes with high proportions of minorities that don’t have disparities in care.”

Dr. Chisholm holds a master of social work degree from the University of South Florida and a Ph.D. in health services research from the University of Florida. Before joining the faculty at the University of Central Florida in 2012, she did postdoctoral research at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.

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