UCLA study: physicians treating Latinos say they don’t provide the best care
Frequently ignore recommended treatment
LOS ANGELES, Calif.—Doctors with a majority Latino practice believe that physicians treating mostly White patients provide better care, according to a UCLA study released today.
The perception is apparently due to the doctors’ belief that they spend an inadequate amount of time with Latino patients; that Latinos are unable to afford proper care; and the patients frequently ignore recommended treatments.
The study in the current edition of the journal Health Affairs also found that doctors with a largely Latino practice say they have a hard time communicating with their patients.
Researchers used data from the 2008 Community Tracking Physician Survey, a nationally representative sample of U.S. physicians that included demographic information and patient characteristics.
“From this survey, we analyzed physicians’ self-reported ability to provide high-quality care to Latinos and compared it to that of physicians treating primarily Whites,” said Arturo Vargas-Bustamante, an assistant professor of health services at the UCLA School of Public Health and co-lead author of the study with Jie Chen, an assistant professor at the City University of New York’s College of Staten Island.
Latinos differ from other minority patients in their socioeconomic and demographic characteristics, as well as their patterns of healthcare access, use and spending, and those differences influence physicians’ perceptions of the quality of care they deliver, Vargas-Bustamante said.
“We wanted to understand the challenges that providers face in delivering high-quality care to under-served populations,” Vargas-Bustamante said.
Researchers also found that physicians still must contend with all the common problems of providing healthcare regardless of ethnicity, including insurers’ rejection of claim decisions, medical errors, a relative lack of available specialists and the lack of timely transmission of reports among physicians.
As the presidential campaign approaches the home stretch, it’s time for President Obama and challenger Mitt Romney to play the race card.
We need a healthy discussion of race in America, and we aren’t getting it.
Many of the reforms in the Affordable Care Act affect not only patients, but doctors as well. Insurance industry reforms make it illegal for insurance companies to deny coverage to individuals based on pre-existing conditions, place a dollar limit on the amount of coverage a patient can receive and cancel a patient’s coverage because of an expensive health condition.
These reforms impact private practices differently than physicians in large medical groups.
Patients seeking bone marrow donations to fight diseases such as leukemia and lymphoma will typically find a match within their family only 25 percent of the time; the other 75 percent of matches are made with compatible strangers.
That’s where Be the Match comes in. This national registry of 9 million donors is one way those seeking marrow can find it.
The official unemployment rate is 15.8 percent among Blacks and 13 percent among Latinos; Blacks earn only 57 cents for each dollar of White family income, Latinos earn 59 cents; and Blacks have only 10 cents of net wealth while Latinos have 12 cents to every dollar of net wealth that Whites have.
When 2nd Lt. Emily Perez was killed by a roadside bomb in Iraq, she became the first female African American officer to die in combat. Perez, an outstanding West Point graduate, was mourned by two communities because, while she looked like a Black woman, she came from a Black-Latino family.