Empirical data show that racial disparities in the quality of care provided by nursing homes are a common occurrence, not isolated to Illinois. Nine years after the publication of the groundbreaking Institute of Medicine Study (“IOM study”) Unequal Treatment: Confronting Racial and Ethnic Disparities in Healthcare, which acknowledged continued racial disparities in health care and provided suggestions for the elimination of these disparities, racial disparities still remain. One chief example of the continuation of racial disparities in health care is in the provision of nursing home care.
Decades of empirical research studies have shown that racial disparities in accessing quality nursing home care continue to exist, particularly between African Americans and Caucasians. In the 1980s and 1990s, empirical studies showed that *1179 elderly African Americans had difficulty in obtaining access to nursing home care. Specifically, research conducted in New York and North Carolina revealed that African Americans experienced delays in transfers to nursing homes because they were denied admission to nursing homes based on their race. Since these studies, elderly African Americans have been using nursing homes more than Caucasians; however, African Americans have been relegated to racially segregated nursing homes.
Moreover, ten years of research show that African Americans disproportionately reside in substandard nursing homes compared to Caucasians. For instance, empirical data from several states, including New York, North Carolina, and Illinois, show that race remains the greatest predictor of the provision of poor-quality nursing home care. The persistence of racial disparities in the provision of quality nursing home care is significant because a considerable number of elderly African Americans will need access to quality nursing home care within the next twenty years.
Yearby, Ruqaiijah A., "African Americans Can't Win, Break Even, or Get Out of the System: The Persistence of “Unequal Treatment ” in Nursing Home Care" (2010). All Faculty Scholarship. 87.