Background: Race/ethnic disparities in acute stroke care may impact stroke outcomes. We compared short- and long-term mortality by race/ethnicity among Medicare beneficiaries in Get With The Guidelines (GWTG) hospitals participating in the NINDS-funded prospective Florida Puerto Rico Collaboration to Reduce Stroke Disparities Registry (GWTG/CReSD), GWTG hospitals not in the Registry (GWTG/non-CReSD), and non-GWTG hospitals not in the Registry (non-GWTG/non-CReSD).
Methods: The population included Medicare beneficiaries age 65+ in FL and PR, hospitalized from 2010-2013 with ischemic stroke (ICD-9 433, 434, 436; N=105,205, mean age=80 years, 54% women). We used mixed logistic models adjusted for demographic and clinical characteristics to assess race/ethnic differences in in-hospital, 30-day, and 1-year mortality, stratifying by hospital type (GWTG/CReSD, GWTG/non-CReSD, non-GWTG/non-CReSD).
Results: In the 62 GWTG/CReSD hospitals (N=44013, 84% non-Hispanic White (NHW), 9% NH-Black (NHB), 4% FL-Hispanic (FLH), 1% PR-Hispanic (PRH)), NHB had lower 30-day mortality vs NHW (10% vs 12%; OR 0.86, 95% CI 0.77-0.97), but higher 1-year mortality (22% vs 20%; OR 1.13, 95% CI 1.04-1.23); there were no race/ethnic disparities for in-hospital mortality (NHB=6%, NHW=5%, FLH=7%, PRH=12%). However, in 74 GWTG/non-CReSD hospitals (N=46770, 88% NHW, 8% NHB, 2% FLH, 0% PRH), FLH (5%) and NHB (4%) had higher in-hospital mortality vs NHW (3%). For 113 non-GWTG/non-CReSD hospitals (N=14422, 78% NHW, 7% NHB, 5% FLH, 8% PRH), in-hospital mortality was higher for PRH (17%) and NHB (8%) vs NHW (5%). In-hospital and 1-year mortality were lower in CReSD and in GWTG/non-CReSD vs in non-GWTG/non-CReSD hospitals.
Conclusions: FL and PR Medicare beneficiaries treated for stroke in GWTG hospitals (both GWTG/CReSD and GWTG/non-CReSD) had lower mortality vs those treated in non-GWTG hospitals; however, there were less race/ethnic disparities in in-hospital mortality for stroke patients treated at GWTG/CReSD hospitals, which are focused on reducing disparities in acute stroke care. Findings underscore the benefits of quality improvement programs, particularly those focusing on race/ethnic disparities.