"Separate and Unequal: Medical Apartheid in New York City," that's the title of a 33-page study that is going to be released tomorrow by a group called Bronx Health REACH. If the coverage in the tabloids is any indication the study is going to make a lot of people very unhappy. Among the findings reported to be in the study:
African-American and Latino New Yorkers are more than twice as likely as whites to be uninsured, or to receive Medicaid or other public insurance.
The poor and uninsured patients are more likely to receive care in public hospitals, while the privately insured go to private hospitals.
The uninsured often were charged the highest hospital rates, yet these people were unable to access charity funds that hospitals receive to pay patients' hospital bills.
Further, the report emphasizes the huge disparities between the patients, doctors and care provided at public and private hospitals (i.e. 67% of the patients at public Bellevue Hospital were uninsured or publicly insured while only 9% of the patients at private NYU Hospital were) If the report is half as incendiary as today's articles lead us to believe, and a quarter as aggressive as it's title, then this story should have some real legs in the local healthcare debate.