AHRQ Study Examines Quality of Bladder Cancer Surgery for Black and White Patients
A recent study published in the journal Cancer showed that, among nearly 17,000 patients undergoing cystectomy (bladder removal) for bladder cancer from 1996 through 2009, black patients received lower quality of care by some metrics than did white patients. The researchers found that blacks were treated more often by surgeons and hospitals that had performed fewer cystectomies, received fewer recommended related surgical procedures for their condition, and experienced more adverse outcomes than did whites. Even when black patients were treated by high-volume surgeons and hospitals, the researchers found that they still received fewer recommended related surgical procedures and had more adverse outcomes than did white patients. Findings were based on AHRQ Healthcare Cost and Utilization Project data, and the study was restricted to discharges from Florida, Maryland, and New York hospitals meeting specific AHRQ criteria for anticipated accuracy in coding of race/ethnicity. The study, titled “Racial Variation in the Quality of Surgical Care for Bladder Cancer,” was published online on December 11, 2013, and coauthors included AHRQ’s Darryl T. Gray, M.D.