Monday’s Muse: NHAMCS Data Gives Food For Thought Day 22

When I started the challenge, I didn’t consider the Thanksgiving holiday or relocating. Rather than stress myself to meet a self-imposed challenge, I will take a hiatus and restart next week with part 2 of the racial breakdown of medical errors.

In part 1, I began reviewing the National Hospital Ambulatory Medical Care (NAHMCS) data tables. The average patient had over six visits to the emergency department within four weeks. Black patients utilized the emergency department more than any racial group in the survey. There is more in what is absent from the data. Part 2 will continue the review of the 2018 NAHMCS data tables.

Medical errors are the third leading cause of death, and it’s not tracked in the NAHMCS data. The addition of return visits to the survey would provide demographic information about medical errors that could reduce maternal mortality rates in Black women and other racial disparities in healthcare.

Return visits make money for hospitals. Health insurance, including Medicare, will pay whatever the outcome. As perverse as it sounds, that incentivizes hospitals to do harm or conceal recurrent patterns of behavior that cause harm to vulnerable groups and Black patients.

It’s the same mentality as police departments profit from arrests and towns profit too. Prisons grew into an industrial complex. I could go on. Covid provided a perfect cover for even more sinister acts of harm by hospital staff.

Not all hospitals are dangerous. However, enough hospitals have targeted Black children, men, and women to urge caution. Again, we see it in maternal mortality rates of Black women in the USA, where Black women die from pregnancy complications at 3 to 4 times the rate of white women.

We should be vigilant in hospitals and avoid them at all costs. Black patients are not safe in hospitals.

These are my thoughts based on the NAHMCS data.

Author

  • Angela Grant is a medical doctor. For 22 years, she practiced emergency medicine and internal medicine. She studied for one year at Harvard T. H Chan School Of Public Health. She writes about culture, race, and health.

3 thoughts on “Monday’s Muse: NHAMCS Data Gives Food For Thought Day 22

  1. I agree with you Angela! ADOS have to be more proactive! Demand a copy of your blood work. Buy a physicians’ desk reference. know the side effects of the drugs you’re taking. If you don’t have a computer use the library learn about your condition and if there are natural remedies. ADOS are getting screw all up and down this demonic system and the best thing to do is to keep away as much as possible.

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