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Physicians treating Latinos have high hurdles to jump, study shows
Date:10/12/2011

onstitute the largest ethnic minority group in the country. And the Affordable Care Act of 2010, Vargas-Bustamante said, is likely to benefit larger proportions of minority individuals, particularly Latinos, who currently experience the highest uninsurance rate across racial and ethnic groups.

"We wanted to understand the challenges that providers face in delivering high-quality care to underserved populations," he said. "Overcoming such challenges will be critical to ensure that the insurance expansion under the Affordable Care Act will succeed in providing better health for all."

What the researchers found, Vargas-Bustamante said, was disturbing. Physicians who primarily treat Latino patients don't feel they can provide high-quality care. But in addition to the problems specific to Latinos, these physicians still must contend with all the common problems of providing health care regardless of ethnicity, including insurers' rejection of claim decisions, medical errors, a relative lack of available specialists and the lack of timely transmission of reports among physicians.

Vargas-Bustamante noted that, when implemented, the Affordable Care Act can potentially address some of these quality challenges.

"An increased supply of medical personnel, for example, would allow primary care physicians to allocate more time to patients and improve follow-up," he said. "Also, more cultural competence will come from the strengthening of primary care providers, which would address problems with communicating and in improving treatment compliance."


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Contact: Mark Wheeler
mwheeler@mednet.ucla.edu
310-794-2265
University of California - Los Angeles
Source:Eurekalert

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