Study Examines Racial Disparity in Nursing Home Care

A new study led by Jasmine L. Travers, an assistant professor in the Rory Meyers College of Nursing at New York University, finds that residents of nursing homes where 50 percent or more of all residents were Black, had higher rates of hospitalizations and emergency room visits than nursing homes where a majority of residents were White.

The study included data on more than 14,000 nursing homes nationwide. More than 31 percent had no Black residents and another 23 percent of all nursing homes had fewer than 5 percent Black residents. Researchers found that majority-Black nursing homes tended to be for-profit institutions located primarily in urban areas. They tended to have more residents who were on Medicaid, had fewer registered nurses, had fewer aide hours per resident per day, and had a greater number of licensed practical nurses. The higher rates of hospitalizations and emergency room visits at majority-Black nursing was directly related to the lower number of registered nurses on staff, according to the study.

“Staffing is a modifiable area in which federal and state agencies should take action to eliminate disparities in quality of care among nursing homes,” Dr. Travers said.

Dr. Travers is a graduate of Adelphi University in Garden City, New York, where she majored in nursing. She holds a master’s degree in nursing from Stony Book University in New York, a master’s degree in health science from Yale University, and a Ph.D. in nursing from Columbia University.

The full study, “Environmental and Structural Factors Driving Poor Quality of Care: An Examination if Nursing Homes Serving Black Residents,” was published on the website of the Journal of the American Geriatrics Society. It may be accessed here.

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  1. This is a very important study I’m so happy to see this. I lost two grandmothers and the same nursing home. Both times I feel that incident surrounding their death were totally unnecessary and avoidable.

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