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Disparities in Nursing Home Care

disparities in nursing home care

Racial and ethnic disparities in nursing home care are well documented in literature.  Research shows that black Americans receive less quality care in nursing homes than white Americans.  Sadly, these stories rarely make it to mainstream media.  But a lack of attention to the matter does not negate the reality that disparities are real and cause heartache in facilities across the United States.

The COVID-19 pandemic continues to highlight healthcare disparities that impact black Americans.  In nursing homes and communities across the U.S., black Americans are disproportionately affected by COVID-19.  But the reality of disparities in nursing home care go much deeper than the ongoing pandemic. 

Disparities in Nursing Home Care

Racial and ethnic minorities tend to reside in nursing homes with limited financial resources, low staffing levels and a high number of deficiencies.  One study shows that only 9% of white nursing home residents live in “lower-tier” homes.  That is compared to an estimated 40% of black nursing home residents.  What that means is that,

black Americans are three-times more likely to reside in a poor-performing or lower quality nursing home than white Americans.

Nursing home quality is measured based on a series of factors like staffing, infection control,  bedsore rates and general health and safety.  When nursing homes fail to meet federal and state guidelines, they are said to be deficient.  Deficiencies among nursing homes with high minority concentrations are around 9.4%.  Deficiencies among facilities with primarily white residents are around 6.8%.

These statistics show a clear pattern of disparities in nursing homes.  Unfortunately, statistics are only one cog in the wheel of understanding our nation’s lack of health equity.  Society continues to lag behind in addressing and understanding disparities in nursing home care.

At Nursing Home Abuse Center, we want to be part of a change in how society understands healthcare disparities.  To that end, we have done extensive research into disparities in nursing home care and how they impact society.  Below, you will find a plethora of information and resources about disparities in nursing home care.

It is our hope that you will find this information helpful in opening dialogue about healthcare disparities.


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