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Understanding Racial and Ethnic Disparities in Postsurgical Complications Occurring in U.S. Hospitals.

Understanding Racial and Ethnic Disparities in Postsurgical Complications Occurring in U.S. Hospitals.
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Witt WP, Coffey RM, Lopez-Gonzalez L, Barrett ML, Moore BJ, Andrews RM, Washington RE,


Witt WP, Coffey RM, Lopez-Gonzalez L, Barrett ML, Moore BJ, Andrews RM, Washington RE, (click to view)

Witt WP, Coffey RM, Lopez-Gonzalez L, Barrett ML, Moore BJ, Andrews RM, Washington RE,

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Health services research 2016 03 0952(1) 220-243 doi 10.1111/1475-6773.12475
Abstract
OBJECTIVE
To examine the role of patient, hospital, and community characteristics on racial and ethnic disparities in in-hospital postsurgical complications.

DATA SOURCES
Healthcare Cost and Utilization Project, 2011 State Inpatient Databases; American Hospital Association Annual Survey of Hospitals; Area Health Resources Files; Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services Hospital Compare database.

METHODS
Nonlinear hierarchical modeling was conducted to examine the odds of patients experiencing any in-hospital postsurgical complication, as defined by Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality Patient Safety Indicators.

PRINCIPAL FINDINGS
A total of 5,474,067 inpatient surgical discharges were assessed using multivariable logistic regression. Clinical risk, payer coverage, and community-level characteristics (especially income) completely attenuated the effect of race on the odds of postsurgical complications. Patients without private insurance were 30 to 50 percent more likely to have a complication; patients from low-income communities were nearly 12 percent more likely to experience a complication. Private, not-for-profit hospitals in small metropolitan or micropolitan areas and higher nurse-to-patient ratios led to fewer postsurgical complications.

CONCLUSIONS
Race does not appear to be an important determinant of in-hospital postsurgical complications, but insurance and community characteristics have an effect. A population-based approach that includes improving the socioeconomic context may help reduce disparities in these outcomes.

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