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Med Care Res Rev. 2000;57 Suppl 1:55-84.

Race and ethnic disparities in health care access and utilization: an examination of state variation.


Health disparities among racial and ethnic groups have a long history and continue to exist in the United States. The U.S. government has established as a goal for the year 2010 the elimination of racial/ethnic health differences in six areas. This article examines disparities in one of those areas: access to high-quality health care. Several measures of access to and use of health care services are studied both nationally and in 13 diverse states. The authors find that both the magnitude of racial and ethnic disparity and the reasons behind it depend significantly on the state, the ethnic group, and the type of outcome measure being studied. Such information can be valuable for state and national policy makers in targeting resources and in designing effective strategies for the elimination of racial and ethnic disparities.

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