Study: "Mediocre" care for everyone

A new study appearing in The New England Journal of Medicine from the RAND organization confirms some things we knew about care quality and challenges a few fundamental assumptions. In one of the largest studies of care quality ever conducted, researchers confirmed the earlier data published by RAND that Americans do not get the correct care much of the time. But it found that that care was broadly consistent regardless of their race or class. Numbers for different groups were about the same. African-Americans and Hispanics got 58 percent of the best care, beating 54 percent for whites. Those with annual household income over $50,000 got 57 percent. Those with an income under $15,000 got 54 percent. A separate body of research has shown that access to care is very different for those in different class, race or income levels. This study found that, once they get to that care, as Donald Berwick, head of the Institute for Healthcare Improvement says, 'that healthcare has equal-opportunity defects.'

- see this article from The New York Times
- see this abstract from NEJM