October 6, 2023

Report: Think tank ranking shows hospital segregation persists in some US cities

Editor's Note

In a ranking of over 3,000 hospitals done by the Lown Institute, a nonprofit and nonpartisan think tank in Needham, Massachusetts, researchers found that while inclusion is being prioritized at some hospitals, segregated healthcare markets remain in cities like New Orleans, St. Louis, and Detroit. 

The findings were announced by the Lown Institute via a press release on September 19. Some highlights include:

  • Only 3% of hospitals received 5 stars (highest score); 6% received 1 star (lowest score)
  • 11 metropolitan areas were identified by the Lown Institute as having significant hospital market segregation, with more than 20% of their hospitals ranked most or least inclusive; New Orleans, St. Louis, and Detroit top the list
  • Many cities with segregated hospital markets also have large gaps in life expectancy by race
  • For example, white residents of St. Louis county live nearly 9 years longer than Black residents
  • The most racially inclusive hospitals were in Boston, Chicago, and Philadelphia. 

The researchers noted that the report sheds light on the ongoing gap between practices and healthcare systems’ professed commitment to advancing equity.


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