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Health Aff (Millwood). 2011 Oct;30(10):1921-9. doi: 10.1377/hlthaff.2011.0344.

Physicians cite hurdles ranging from lack of coverage to poor communication in providing high-quality care to latinos.

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  • 1School of Public Health, University of California, Los Angeles, CA, USA.


We surveyed physicians about their ability to provide high-quality care to patients from diverse ethnic backgrounds. Primarily, we wanted to explore the challenges faced by physicians treating Latino patients compared to physicians whose patients were primarily white and non-Latino. We found that physicians treating Latinos, particularly those who worked in primary care in comparison to specialists, were less likely than physicians treating primarily white patients to believe in their ability to provide high-quality care. They cited problems of inadequate time with patients, patients' ability to pay, patients' nonadherence to recommended treatment, difficulties communicating with patients, relative lack of specialist availability, and lack of timely transmission of reports among physicians. Insurance expansions and complementary reforms mandated by the Affordable Care Act of 2010 and other recent legislation should aid physicians in closing some of these gaps in quality.

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