The racial disparities in access to healthcare services had become more evident during the COVID-19 pandemic when minority populations had a more significant number of cases and fewer opportunities to access proper care. The purpose of the study by Li et al. (2020) is to determine the number of COVID-19 cases every week from nursing homes and determine the ethical distribution of these cases. The premise is that the case count can determine if some populations are affected more than others, in this case, do the minorities suffer more than the general population.
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During this research, Li et al. (2020) used reports from nursing homes across the United States and applied a multivariable two-part model to analyze them. This work is valuable because an extreme healthcare crisis such as the pandemic shows the effect that an improperly set healthcare system has on minorities. Li et al. (2020) state that nursing homes that have a more significant proportion of ethnic minorities had more COVID-19 cases and more deaths due to this illness. This study contributes to the broader understanding of healthcare disparities because it shows that resources and access to quality care for minorities are impaired.
Potential bias and shortcomings of this work include the focus on a small proportion of the population older people who are a racial minority. Li et al. (2020) conclude that since nursing homes caring for minorities have more COVID-19-related deaths, there is a gap in the way these facilities are managed. Therefore, care provided to minority populations is worse in quality when compared to care that the majority of the population receives, which lends evidence to the ethical and racial disparity gap in healthcare.
The pandemic has affected minorities disproportionately when compared to other populations. Similar to the first study, Lopez et al. (2020) determined to examine the number of COVID-19 cases and outcomes for the racial and ethnic minorities. During this study, the researchers analyzed hospitalization data and death rates across the United States, focusing on the ethnic background of the patients. The findings support the conclusion that minorities have worse access to care since their hospitalization and death rates are much higher than those of other populations. This study was not subjected to bias since Lopez et al. (2020) used official statistics and standard analysis methods to make conclusions. Hence, this research allows one to conclude that health disparities are linked to race and ethnicity. The same medical condition is worse for minorities when compared to white Americans since they do not have the same resources for treatment. Hence, this study is valuable because it helps support the concept of disparity gap and difference in access based on a person’s socioeconomic status.
The pandemic has forced the healthcare system to work at its maximum capacity, highlighting the gaps that might have been ignored before. Hence, a lack of resources or inability to access a healthcare professional in a particular area became more apparent since a large number of people became infected with this disease. Before the pandemic, the minority’s healthcare disparities were not as evident. The findings of Lopez et al. (2020) support the idea of racial disparities since hospitalizations and deaths per 100,000 cases were 24.6 for black Americas in comparison to 7.4 for non-minorities.
Li, Y., Cen, X., Cai, X., & Temkin‐Greener, H. (2020). Racial and ethnic disparities in COVID‐19 infections and deaths across U.S. nursing homes. JAGS, 68(11), 2454-2461.
Lopez, L., Hart, L., & Katz, M. (2021). Racial and ethnic health disparities related to COVID-19. JAMA, 325(8), 719.
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