Effects of race and income on mortality and use of services among Medicare beneficiaries.
ABSTRACT There are wide disparities between blacks and whites in the use of many Medicare services. We studied the effects of race and income on mortality and use of services.
We linked 1990 census data on median income according to ZIP Code with 1993 Medicare administrative data for 26.3 million beneficiaries 65 years of age or older (24.2 million whites and 2.1 million blacks). We calculated age-adjusted mortality rates and age- and sex-adjusted rates of various diagnoses and procedures according to race and income and computed black:white ratios. The 1993 Medicare Current Beneficiary Survey was used to validate the results and determine rates of immunization against influenza.
For mortality, the black:white ratios were 1.19 for men and 1.16 for women (P<0.001 for both). For hospital discharges, the ratio was 1.14 (P<0.001), and for visits to physicians for ambulatory care it was 0.89 (P<0.001). For every 100 women, there were 26.0 mammograms among whites and 17.1 mammograms among blacks. As compared with mammography rates in the respective most affluent group, rates in the least affluent group were 33 percent lower among whites and 22 percent lower among blacks. The black:white rate ratio was 2.45 for bilateral orchiectomy and 3.64 for amputations of all or part of the lower limb (P<0.001 for both). For every 1000 beneficiaries, there were 515 influenza immunizations among whites and 313 among blacks. As compared with immunization rates in the respective most affluent group, rates in the least affluent group were 26 percent lower among whites and 39 percent lower among blacks. Adjusting the mortality and utilization rates for differences in income generally reduced the racial differences, but the effect was relatively small.
Race and income have substantial effects on mortality and use of services among Medicare beneficiaries. Providing health insurance is not enough to ensure that the program is used effectively and equitably by all beneficiaries.
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ABSTRACT: Background Health insurance status affects access to preventive services. Effective use of preventive services is a key factor in the reduction of important health concerns and has the potential to enable adults to live longer, healthier lives. Purpose To analyze the use of U.S. Preventive Services Task Force (USPSTF)-recommended preventive services among uninsured adults, with a focus on variation across race, ethnicity, and household income. Methods Using pooled 2004–2011 Medical Expenditure Panel Survey data, this study conducted multivariate logistic regressions to estimate variation in receipt of eight USPSTF-recommended preventive services by race/ethnicity among adults aged 18 years and older uninsured in the previous year. Stratified analyses by household income were applied. Data were analyzed in 2013. Results Uninsured adults received preventive services far below Healthy People 2020 targets. Among the uninsured, African Americans had higher odds of receiving Pap tests, mammograms, routine physical checkups, and blood pressure checks according to guidelines than whites. Moreover, compared to whites, Hispanics had higher odds of receiving Pap tests, mammograms, influenza vaccinations, and routine physical checkups and lower odds of receiving blood pressure screening and advice to quit smoking. When results were stratified by household income, racial/ethnic differences persisted except for the highest income levels (≥400% Federal Poverty Level), where they were largely non-significant. Conclusions Generally, uninsured African American and Hispanic populations fare better than uninsured whites in preventive service utilization. Future research should examine reasons behind these racial/ethnic differences to inform policy interventions aiming to increase preventive service utilization among the uninsured.American Journal of Preventive Medicine 10/2014; 48(1). DOI:10.1016/j.amepre.2014.08.029 · 4.28 Impact Factor