Provider alliance: Racial disparities in nursing homes 'unacceptable'

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The announcement this week that large racial care disparities exist among skilled nursing residents should be seen as wrong and unfortunate, but not surprising, said a prominent long-term care association leader Wednesday.

"The disparities in the quality of care and treatment of African American seniors versus other seniors are wrong and unacceptable," said Alan Rosenbloom, president of The Alliance for Quality Nursing Home Care, which represents many of the largest nursing home chains in the United States.

African-Americans are nearly three times more likely to receive care in nursing homes with a higher proportion of patients who are Medicaid beneficiaries, according to study results released Tuesday in the September-October issue of the journal Health Affairs.

"Racial disparities in health care are unacceptable. This report is an important first step in addressing the issue in nursing homes, and the nation would do well - as the authors recommend - to examine the obvious relationship between inadequate government payments and inferior quality outcomes," Rosenbloom added.