Do Primary Care Physicians Treating Minority Patients Report Problems Delivering High-Quality Care?

April 22, 2008
Health Affairs , Web exclusive
James D. Reschovsky, Ann S. O'Malley

Racial and ethnic disparities in primary health care likely reflect the aggregate socioeconomic composition of a physician’s patient panels as well as differences in individual patients’ characteristics. National physician survey data indicate that physicians in high-minority practices depend more on low-paying Medicaid, receive lower private insurance reimbursements, and have lower incomes. These constrained resources help explain the greater quality-related difficulties delivering care reported by these physicians—such as coordination of care, ability to spend adequate time with patients during office visits, and obtaining specialty care—that relate directly to physicians’ ability to function as their patients’ medical home.

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