Jul 5, 2017
Black and Hispanic patients received care from poorer quality hospices than white patients.
Published in: Health Affairs, Volume 36, Number 7 (July 2017), pages 1283-1290. doi: 10.1377/hlthaff.2017.0151
Posted on RAND.org on August 01, 2017
Little is known about racial and ethnic variation in the quality of hospice care. We used data on 292,516 respondents for 2015–16 from the Consumer Assessment of Healthcare Providers and Systems (CAHPS) Hospice Survey to assess how the patient and family experience of hospice care differed among black, Hispanic, and white patients. We found that, on average, black and Hispanic patients received care from poorer quality hospices. Within a given hospice, we found that friends and relatives who served as caregivers of black and Hispanic patients reported significantly better hospice care experiences than their peers serving as caregivers of white patients on five of seven outcomes. However, caregivers of black and Hispanic patients reported receiving their desired level of emotional and religious support less often than caregivers of white patients did. As more black and Hispanic patients enroll in hospice care, it is critical to ensure that they have access to high-quality, culturally competent hospice services.