Patient-provider sex and race/ethnicity concordance: a national study of healthcare and outcomes.

Department of Family and Community Medicine, Center for Healthcare Policy and Research, University of California Davis School of Medicine, Sacramento, CA 95817, USA.
Medical care (Impact Factor: 2.94). 11/2011; 49(11):1012-20. DOI: 10.1097/MLR.0b013e31823688ee
Source: PubMed

ABSTRACT Increasing patient-provider sex and race/ethnicity concordance has been proposed to improve healthcare and help mitigate health disparities, but the relationship between concordance and health outcomes remains unclear.
To examine associations of patient-provider sex, race/ethnicity, and dual concordance with healthcare measures. RESEARCH DESIGN AND PARTICIPANTS: Analyses of data from adult respondents indicating a usual source of healthcare (N=22,440) in the 2002 to 2007 Medical Expenditure Panel Surveys (each a 2-year panel).
Year 1 provider communication, sex-neutral (colorectal cancer screening, influenza vaccination) and sex-specific (mammography, Papanicolaou smear, prostate-specific antigen) prevention; and year 2 health status (SF-12). Analyses adjusted for patient sociodemographics and health variables, and healthcare provider (usual source of care) sex and race/ethnicity.
Of 24 concordance assessments, 3 were statistically significant. Women with female providers were more likely to report mammography adherence [average adjusted marginal effect=3.9%, 95% confidence interval (CI): 1.6%, 6.2%; P<0.01]. Respondents reporting dual concordance were less likely to rate provider communication in the highest quartile (average adjusted marginal effect =-4.2%, 95% CI: -8.1%, -0.2%; P=0.04), but dual concordance was associated with higher adjusted SF-12 Physical Component Summary scores (0.58 points, 95% CI: 0.00, 1.15; P=0.05).
Little evidence of clinical benefit resulting from sex or race/ethnicity concordance was found. Greater matching of patients and providers by sex and race/ethnicity is unlikely to mitigate health disparities.

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