Access to medical care, dental care, and prescription drugs: The roles of race/ethnicity, health insurance, and income

Leiyu Shi, Lydie A. Lebrun, Jenna Tsai

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Abstract

BACKGROUND: After accounting for socioeconomic factors and other demographic characteristics, racial/ethnic disparities in access to care were examined. METHODS: Using nationally representative data on 34,403 individuals from the 2004 Medical Expenditure Panel Survey (MEPS), multiple logistic regression analyses for five outcome measures were conducted: self-reports of being unable to get medical care, dental care, or prescriptions in the past year; and having no doctor or dentist visits in the past year. The main independent variables were race/ethnicity, income, and insurance status. RESULTS: Blacks and Hispanics were less likely to report difficulties in accessing medical care, dental care, and prescriptions as compared to whites. These disparities occurred primarily among the uninsured and Medicaid insured. More objective measures of utilization (ie, no doctor visit or dental visit during the past year) showed that minorities experienced less access than whites. CONCLUSIONS: Racial/ethnic disparities in access to care persist, and cannot be entirely explained by socioeconomic differences. In addition, the nature of these disparities depends on the socioeconomic position of racial/ethnic groups as well as the access measure used.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)509-516
Number of pages8
JournalSouthern Medical Journal
Volume103
Issue number6
DOIs
StatePublished - Jun 2010

Fingerprint

Dental Pharmaceutical Preparations
Prescription Drugs
Dental Care
Health Insurance
Prescriptions
Insurance Coverage
Medicaid
Health Expenditures
Dentists
Hispanic Americans
Ethnic Groups
Self Report
Tooth
Logistic Models
Regression Analysis
Demography
Outcome Assessment (Health Care)

Keywords

  • Access
  • Income
  • Insurance
  • Race/ethnicity

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Medicine(all)

Cite this

Access to medical care, dental care, and prescription drugs : The roles of race/ethnicity, health insurance, and income. / Shi, Leiyu; Lebrun, Lydie A.; Tsai, Jenna.

In: Southern Medical Journal, Vol. 103, No. 6, 06.2010, p. 509-516.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

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