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Regional and Racial Variation in Health Care Among Medicare Beneficiaries A Brief Report of the Dartmouth Atlas Project

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Publication Date: December 2008

Publisher(s): Robert Wood Johnson Foundation

Topic: Health (Quality of health care)

Type: Report


This report from the Dartmouth Atlas Project builds on previous findings that showed differences in health care quality by race compounded by variations across state and hospital referral regions. The report presents information on five indicators in smaller areas of health care delivery, providing important insight to support possible change and reform directed at specific health systems.

While overall life expectancy has improved, racial and socioeconomic disparities in mortality and health status have been widening. The findings highlight the importance of understanding health and health care within the context of efforts to explore and address the underlying causes of disparities within and across regions.

The Robert Wood Johnson Foundation’s Aligning Forces for Quality initiative commissioned this special report by the Dartmouth Atlas Project. Aligning Forces for Quality is a national initiative that brings a commitment of resources, expertise and training to turn promising practices into real results on the ground in 14 communities throughout the country.