Health Care Disparities in Race-Ethnic Minority Communities and Populations: Does the Availability of Health Care Providers Play a Role?

Kitty S Chan, Megha A. Parikh, Roland J. Thorpe, Darrell J. Gaskin

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Abstract

Objectives: To examine disparities in use and access to different health care providers by community and individual race-ethnicity and to test provider supply as a potential mediator. Data Sources: National secondary data from 2014 Medical Expenditure Panel Survey, 5-year estimates (2010–2014) from American Community Survey, and 2014 InfoUSA. Study Design: Multiple logistic regression models examined the association of community and individual race-ethnicity with reported health care visits and access. Mediation analyses tested the role of provider supply. Data Extraction Methods: Individual-level survey data were linked to race-ethnic composition and health business counts of the respondent’s primary care service area (PCSA). Principal Findings: Minority PCSAs are significantly and independently associated with lower odds of having a visit to a physician assistant/nurse practitioner, dentist, or other health professionals and having a usual care provider (all p < 0.05). Few significant associations were observed for integrated PCSAs or for health provider supply. A modest mediation effect for provider supply was observed for travel time to usual care provider and visit to other health professionals. Conclusions: Use of a range of health services is lower in minority communities and individuals. However, provider supply was not an important explanatory factor of these disparities.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)539-549
Number of pages11
JournalJournal of Racial and Ethnic Health Disparities
Volume7
Issue number3
DOIs
StatePublished - Jun 1 2020

Keywords

  • Ethnic
  • Health care disparities
  • Health care provider supply
  • Racial
  • Segregation

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Health(social science)
  • Anthropology
  • Sociology and Political Science
  • Health Policy
  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health

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