The Milbank Memorial Fund is an endowed operating foundation that publishes The Milbank Quarterly, commissions projects, and convenes state health policy decision makers on issues they identify as important to population health.
We focus on a number of topic areas identified by state health policy leaders as important to population health.
The Center for Evidence-based Policy at Oregon Health & Science University is a national leader in evidence-based decision making and policy design.
Keep up with news and updates from the Milbank Memorial Fund. Get the latest from thought leaders, including Christopher F. Koller, president of the Fund.
We publish The Milbank Quarterly, as well as reports, issues briefs, and case studies on topics important to population health.
March 2015 (Volume 93)
March 2015 | Nancy R. Kressin, Peter W. Groeneveld | Review Article
Context: The literature on disparities in health care has examined the contrast between white patients receiving needed care, compared with racial/ethnic minority patients not receiving needed care. Racial/ethnic differences in the overuse of care, that is, unneeded care that does not improve patients’ outcomes, have received less attention. We systematically reviewed the literature regarding race/ethnicity and the overuse of care.
Methods: We searched the Medline database for US studies that included at least 2 racial/ethnic groups and that examined the association between race/ethnicity and the overuse of procedures, diagnostic (care) or therapeutic care. In a recent review, we identified studies of overuse by race/ethnicity, and we also examined reference lists of retrieved articles. We then abstracted and evaluated this information, including the population studied, data source, sample size and assembly, type of care, guideline or appropriateness standard, controls for clinical confounding and financing of care, and findings.
Findings: We identified 59 unique studies, of which 11 had a low risk of methodological bias. Studies with multiple outcomes were counted more than once; collectively they assessed 74 different outcomes. Thirty-two studies, 6 with low risks of bias (LRoB), provided evidence that whites received more inappropriate or nonrecommended care than racial/ethnic minorities did. Nine studies (2 LRoB) found evidence of more overuse of care by minorities than by whites. Thirty-three studies (6 LRoB) found no relationship between race/ethnicity and overuse.
Conclusions: Although the overuse of care is not invariably associated with race/ethnicity, when it was, a substantial proportion of studies found greater overuse of care among white patients. Clinicians and researchers should try to understand how and why race/ethnicity might be associated with overuse and to intervene to reduce it.
Author(s): Nancy R. Kressin and Peter W. Groeneveld
Keywords: guideline adherence, inappropriate utilization, inappropriate test
Read on Wiley Online Library
Volume 93, Issue 1 (pages 112–138)
Published in 2015
Creating a Science of Homelessness During the Reagan Era
The Role of Parents in Public Views of Strategies to Address Childhood Obesity in the United States