Physicians Cite Hurdles Ranging From Lack Of Coverage To Poor Communication In Providing High-Quality Care To Latinos

School of Public Health, University of California, Los Angeles, CA, USA.
Health Affairs (Impact Factor: 4.97). 10/2011; 30(10):1921-9. DOI: 10.1377/hlthaff.2011.0344
Source: PubMed


We surveyed physicians about their ability to provide high-quality care to patients from diverse ethnic backgrounds. Primarily, we wanted to explore the challenges faced by physicians treating Latino patients compared to physicians whose patients were primarily white and non-Latino. We found that physicians treating Latinos, particularly those who worked in primary care in comparison to specialists, were less likely than physicians treating primarily white patients to believe in their ability to provide high-quality care. They cited problems of inadequate time with patients, patients' ability to pay, patients' nonadherence to recommended treatment, difficulties communicating with patients, relative lack of specialist availability, and lack of timely transmission of reports among physicians. Insurance expansions and complementary reforms mandated by the Affordable Care Act of 2010 and other recent legislation should aid physicians in closing some of these gaps in quality.

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    • "To reduce the former type of racial disparities, efforts to improve patient-physician communication and to enhance “patient-centered” care during the clinical encounter are recommended. These efforts include physician cultural competency training, expansions in the numbers of minority physicians in the hospital, hospital’s adoption of patient-centered information technology, and hospital’s efforts to improve effective communication and to promote “communities of care” [45,50-53]. To reduce latter type of racial disparities, interventions to improve performance of particular hospitals which served disproportionately high concentrations of minority patients but provided suboptimal quality of care are needed. "
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