The Fund supports several networks of state health policymakers to help identify, inspire, and inform policy leaders.
The Fund identifies and shares policy ideas and analysis on topics important to state health policymakers, particularly on issues related to state leadership, primary care, aging, and health care costs.
Keep up with news and updates from the Milbank Memorial Fund. And read the latest blogs from our thought leaders, including Fund President Christopher F. Koller.
The Fund publishes The Milbank Quarterly, as well as reports, issues briefs, and case studies on topics important to health policy leaders.
The Milbank Memorial Fund is an endowed operating foundation that aims to improve population health by connecting leaders and decision makers with the best available evidence and experience. It does this work by:
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.
Nancy R. Kressin
Peter W. Groeneveld
Back to The Milbank Quarterly
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) DOI: 10.1111/1468-0009.12107 Published in 2015
Get the Latest from the Milbank Memorial Fund
The Milbank Quarterly’s multidisciplinary approach and commitment to applying the best empirical research to practical policymaking offers in-depth assessments of the social, economic, political, historical, legal, and ethical dimensions of health and health care policy.