Policy barriers to health care access fuel discriminatory treatment: the role of Promotoras in overcoming malos tratos.
ABSTRACT This article demonstrates that policy barriers resulting in access to health care inequities were significantly decreased by 2 Promotora interventions for 416 legal and undocumented Latino immigrants in the California Central Valley. Promotoras conducted baseline/follow-up assessments and referrals/phone-calls/visits during a 3-month period. In-depth interviews with Promotoras and a policy analysis on policy-driven access programs were carried out. Access to care was significantly increased between legal and undocumented immigrant from baseline to follow-up. Systemic barriers to access (malos tratos) reflected on personal barriers such as affordability of care. Promotoras help participants overcome barriers but do not change the policies determining access and procedures.
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ABSTRACT: OBJECTIVES This study assessed racial-ethnic disparities in access to high-quality treatment for at-risk drinking and alcohol abuse in the United States and simulated strategies to narrow the gap. METHODS Longitudinal data collected in 2001-2002 and 2004-2005 from the National Epidemiologic Survey on Alcohol and Related Conditions were analyzed to examine racial-ethnic disparities in receipt of alcohol interventions that were provided in primary care and specialty treatment settings and that met published clinical guidelines. The sample consisted of 9,116 respondents who met criteria for at-risk drinking or alcohol abuse in 2001-2002. Simulation analyses projected how disparities in treatment services utilization might change if clinical guidelines promoted access to care in more varied health and human service settings. RESULTS Compared with whites, members of racial-ethnic minority groups had less than two-thirds the odds of receiving an alcohol intervention over the roughly four-year study period (odds ratio [OR]=.62, p<.05). This disparity increased after adjustment for socioeconomic confounders and frequency of heavy drinking (adjusted OR=.47, p=.003). The most pronounced disparities were between whites and U.S.-born and foreign-born Hispanics. Simulation analyses suggested that these disparities could be partially mitigated by extending care into nonmedical service venues. CONCLUSIONS Current efforts to extend evidence-based alcohol interventions into medical settings address an important need but are likely to increase racial-ethnic disparities in access to high-quality treatment. Partial solutions may be found in expanding the range and quality of alcohol-related services provided in alternative delivery sites, including faith-based and social service institutions.Psychiatric services (Washington, D.C.) 02/2014; 65(5). DOI:10.1176/appi.ps.201300188 · 1.99 Impact Factor
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ABSTRACT: Academic health centers (AHCs) are at the forefront of delivering care to the diverse medically underserved and uninsured populations in the United States, as well as training the majority of the health care workforce, who are professionally obligated to serve all patients regardless of race or immigration status. Despite AHCs' central leadership role in these endeavors, few consolidated efforts have emerged to resolve potential conflicts between national, state, and local policies that exclude certain classifications of immigrants from receiving federal public assistance and health professionals' social missions and ethical oath to serve humanity. For instance, whereas the 2010 Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act provides a pathway to insurance coverage for more than 30 million Americans, undocumented immigrants and legally documented immigrants residing in the United States for less than five years are ineligible for Medicaid and excluded from purchasing any type of coverage through state exchanges. To inform this debate, the authors describe their experience at the University of New Mexico Hospital (UNMH) and discuss how the UNMH has responded to this challenge and overcome barriers. They offer three recommendations for aligning AHCs' social missions and professional ethics with organizational policies: (1) that AHCs determine eligibility for financial assistance based on residency rather than citizenship, (2) that models of medical education and health professions training provide students with service-learning opportunities and applied community experience, and (3) that frontline staff and health care professionals receive standardized training on eligibility policies to minimize discrimination towards immigrant patients.Academic medicine: journal of the Association of American Medical Colleges 02/2014; 89(4). DOI:10.1097/ACM.0000000000000187 · 3.47 Impact Factor