Background: Hispanics are the fastest growing segment of the US population and have a higher prevalence of cardiovascular risk factors than non-Hispanic whites. However, little is known about whether elderly Hispanics have higher readmission rates for heart failure (HF) and acute myocardial infarction (AMI) than whites and whether this is due to site of care.
Methods: We examined hospitalizations for Medicare patients with a primary discharge diagnosis of HF and AMI in 2006 to 2008. We categorized hospitals in the top decile of proportion of Hispanic patients as "Hispanic serving" and used logistic regression to examine the relationship between patient ethnicity, hospital Hispanic-serving status, and readmissions.
Results: Hispanic patients had higher risk-adjusted readmission rates than whites for both HF (27.9% vs 25.9%, odds ratio [OR] 1.11, 95% CI 1.07-1.14, P < .001) and AMI (23.0% vs 21.0%, OR 1.12, 95% CI 1.07-1.18, P < .001). Similarly, Hispanic-serving hospitals had higher readmission rates than non-Hispanic-serving hospitals for both HF (27.4% vs 25.8%, OR 1.09, 95% CI 1.06-1.12, P < .001) and AMI (23.0% vs 20.8%, OR 1.13, 95% CI 1.09-1.18, P < .001). In analyses considering ethnicity and site of care simultaneously, both Hispanics and whites had higher readmission rates at Hispanic-serving hospitals.
Conclusions: Elderly Hispanic patients are more likely to be readmitted for HF and AMI than whites, partly due to the hospitals where they receive care. Our findings suggest that targeting the site of care and these high-risk patients themselves will be necessary to reduce disparities in readmissions for this growing group of patients.
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