A new report ranking urban hospitals based on racial inclusivity finds ‘de facto segregation’

Abstract: Overall, in the top 50 most inclusive hospitals, people of color made up 61% of patients on average, compared to 17% in the bottom 50 hospitals. “This seems to be how the system works — [there is] a pattern of de facto segregation,” Saini, of the Lown Institute, said. In large urban areas, safety-net hospitals, which provide care regardless of a patient’s insurance status or ability to pay, almost exclusively cater to low-income people of color while other hospitals in the area take care of a whiter, richer population, Saini said. While there are several factors, including residential segregation and insurance status, driving this trend, it is a pretty clear example of structural racism. “The example I’ve been using is can anyone imagine having a Black airport and a white airport a mile apart? Does that even make any sense? And yet in some ways, that’s what we have with hospitals,” he said.