Surprising Finding on Race

This is from American Health Line:

Black and Hispanic patients often have higher end-of-life care costs than white patients, according to an NIH study [gated, but with abstract].

The study found that Medicare costs for white patients averaged $20,166 in the six-month period. By comparison, the average cost for black patients was about 30% higher, or $26,704, and nearly 60% higher, or $31,702, for Hispanic patients. According to the study authors, minority patients were not charged more than white patients, but they received more invasive, intensive and costly treatments at the end of life.

Comments (3)

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  1. BowTieGuy says:

    Does this have any comparative effectiveness implications?

  2. Linda Gorman says:

    White patients are much more likely to have DNR orders than black ones, so this isn’t exactly surprising. Whites are also more likely to have various advance planning directives.

  3. Neil H. says:

    So what do we make of this? Are blacks being discriminated against? Or in favor of? Or as is so often the likely case, perhaps there is no discrimination at all.