Racial and Ethnic Differences in Access to Medical Care in Managed Care Plans

October 2001
Health Services Research , Vol. 36, No. 5 (October 2001): 853-868
J. Lee Hargraves, Peter J. Cunningham, Robert G. Hughes

embers of racial and ethnic minority groups have more problems with access to medical care than whites. These differences exist in both health plans with and without managed care gatekeeping arrangements. This study, using the 1996-97 CTS Household Survey, examines experiences of African Americans, Hispanics, and whites with either public or private health insurance. Americans of all racial and ethnic backgrounds in managed care plans with gatekeeping are more likely to have a usual source of care, a regular provider, and lower use of specialists compared to persons in plans without gatekeeping. Hispanics were least likely to have had their last doctor visit with a specialist compared to African Americans and whites. Although greater access to primary care was shown among African Americans and Hispanics in managed care plans, the extent of the disparities between racial/ethnic minorities and whites in managed care is similar to disparities in other types of health plans.

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