Access

You are not currently logged in.

Access your personal account or get JSTOR access through your library or other institution:

login

Log in to your personal account or through your institution.

If you need an accessible version of this item please contact JSTOR User Support

Explaining Racial and Ethnic Disparities in Health Care

James B. Kirby, Gregg Taliaferro and Samuel H. Zuvekas
Medical Care
Vol. 44, No. 5, Supplement: Trends in Medical Care Costs, Coverage, Use and Access: Research Findings from the Medical Expenditure Panel Survey (May, 2006), pp. I64-I72
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/3768359
Page Count: 9
  • More info
  • Cite this Item
If you need an accessible version of this item please contact JSTOR User Support
Explaining Racial and Ethnic Disparities in Health Care
Preview not available

Abstract

Objectives: The substantial racial and ethnic disparities in access to and use of health services are well documented. A number of studies highlight factors such as health insurance coverage and socioeconomic differences that explain some of the differences between groups, but much remains unexplained. We build on this previous research by incorporating additional factors such as attitudes about health care and neighborhood characteristics, as well as separately analyzing different Hispanic subgroups. Methods: We use the Oaxaca-Blinder regression-based method to decompose differences among racial and ethnic groups in 3 measures related to access, quantifying the portion explained by each of a number of underlying characteristics and the differences that remain unexplained. We use data from the 2000 and 2001 Medical Expenditure Panel Survey (MEPS), a nationally representative survey of the noninstitutionalized U.S. population. We link these data to detailed neighborhood characteristics from the Census Bureau and local provider supply data from the Health Services Resource Administration (HRSA). Results: Consistent with earlier studies, we find insurance status and socioeconomic differences explain a significant part of the disparities. Additionally, neighborhood racial and ethnic composition account for a large portion of disparities in access, and language differences help explain observed disparities in the use-based access measure. However, much of the differences between racial and ethnic groups remain unexplained. We also found substantial variation in the level of disparities among different groups of Hispanics. Conclusions: Researchers and policymakers may need to broaden the scope of factors they consider as barriers to access if the goal of eliminating disparities in health care is to be achieved.

Page Thumbnails

  • Thumbnail: Page 
I64
    I64
  • Thumbnail: Page 
I65
    I65
  • Thumbnail: Page 
I66
    I66
  • Thumbnail: Page 
I67
    I67
  • Thumbnail: Page 
I68
    I68
  • Thumbnail: Page 
I69
    I69
  • Thumbnail: Page 
I70
    I70
  • Thumbnail: Page 
I71
    I71
  • Thumbnail: Page 
I72
    I72