Gender disparities in healthcare are most likely to be related to follow-up care for alcohol and drug treatment, according to a report released by the CMS Office of Minority Health.
The recently released Gender Disparities In Health Care in Medicare Advantage is based on 2015 data. It examines 24 clinical care measures, indicating that women receive worse care than men for three measures, similar care for 16, and better care than men for five measures. Disparities in care were considered statistically significant if the difference between men and women receiving the care is three or more points after rounding. (The full report is available online at: http://go.cms.gov/2qJ85LC.)
Gender disparities were most pronounced in the category of avoiding potentially harmful drug-disease interactions in elderly patients with a history of falls, in which men received significantly better care. According to the report, 61% of elderly men met the standard of care, compared to approximately 50% of elderly women.
Women received better care in some categories. The advantage for women was most prominent with follow-up within 30 days of discharge after a hospital stay for mental illness. Fifty-seven percent of women received follow-up care, compared to about 50% of men.
Women also received significantly better care than men in the following areas:
- Follow-up after a hospital stay for mental illness (within seven days of discharge) — women received better care by 4.8%.
- Diabetes care eye exam — by 3.2%.
- Management of COPD exacerbation with bronchodilator — by 3.6%.
- Rheumatoid arthritis management — by 3.1%.
Men received significantly better care than women in the following areas:
- Avoiding potentially harmful drug-disease interactions in elderly patients with a history of falls — men fared better by 11.3%.
- Avoiding potentially harmful drug-disease interactions in elderly patients with dementia — by 8.3%.
- Initiation of alcohol or other drug treatment — by 6.3%.