Health care disparities found between race/ethnicity, disability

While Hispanics with basic activity limitations share in health care disparities, they experience fewer of the protective effects associated with being Hispanic or having a disability, according to study results. However, little other evidence of interaction or additive effects of disability and race/ethnicity was found.

Researchers conducted multivariate regression analyses of 2002-2010 data from the Medical Expenditure Panel Survey Household Component on 165,028 working age adults, including demographics, health care utilization and expenditures, sources of payment, health insurance and quality of care. Researchers also assessed whether individuals reported having a usual source of care or not.

Study results showed that, compared with non-Hispanic whites, most racial and ethnic groups were less likely to have a usual source of care. While individuals with disabilities were more likely to have a usual source of care, Hispanics with basic activity limitations were the only disability group with an elevated odds of lacking a usual source of care, according to study results. Although researchers did not find inflated impacts of one having both a disability and belonging to an underserved racial or ethnic group, they found that disability was strongly associated with unmet health care needs.

For more information:

Horner-Johnson W. Med Care. 2014;doi:10.1097/MLR.0000000000000193.

Disclosure: The authors have no relevant financial disclosures.

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