Access to Medical Care Reported by Asians and Pacific Islanders in a West Coast Physician Group Association

Published in: Medical Care Research and Review, v. 57, no. 2, June 2000

Posted on RAND.org on January 01, 2000

by Rani E. Snyder, William Cunningham, Terry T. Nakazono, Ron D. Hays

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This study examines access to medical care for Asians and Pacific Islanders in the United States, using a survey of patients receiving care provided by a physician group practice association concentrated on the West Coast. Asians and Pacific Islanders who had used their health plan in the past year had worse access to health care than whites, blacks, Hispanics, and Native American or other ethnicities. The odds that Asians reported that they had adequate access ranged from about one quarter to three quarters that of whites, depending on the measure. Cultural differences and associated communication problems may explain the access problems experienced by Asians. Interventions need to be developed to address the problems with access to services, and better translation services may play an important role in improving access to care for Asians. Future studies need to clarify why Asians were more vulnerable to the access problems examined than other ethnic groups that might experience similar barriers.

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