Skilled nursing facilities located in communities with higher-than-typical numbers of low-income and minority patients are under greater financial stress than comparable facilities located in other communities.

Nursing homes that serve higher proportions of Medicaid patients the same challenge.

And both of these conditions detract from the quality of care such facilities provide.

These are the findings of a new study published in the journal Health Services Research.

According to the study,

Medicaid-dependent nursing homes have a 3.5 percentage point lower operating ratio. Those serving primarily racial minorities have a 2.64-point lower quality rating. A 1 percent increase in the neighborhood population living in poverty is associated with a 1.20-point lower quality rating, on a scale from 10 to 50, and a 1 percent increase in the portion of neighborhood black residents is associated with a 0.8 percentage point lower operating ratio and a 0.37 lower quality rating.

 Learn more from the study “Geographic Disparities in Access to Nursing Home Services: Assessing Fiscal Stress and Quality of Care,” which appears in the Health Services Research.  Find a link to the study here.