Study: Minority Patients Mostly Treated by Non-White Doctors
Doctors who are black, Hispanic and Asian provide the most care to minority patients, according to a study that suggests changes under Obamacare may increase the burden for these physicians, Bloomberg reports.
According to the report:
More than half of minority patients and about 70 percent of non-English-speaking patients, groups more likely to have Medicaid or be uninsured, are cared for by a nonwhite doctor, according to a research letter today in JAMA Internal Medicine.
President Barack Obama’s 2010 Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act, the biggest overhaul of the U.S. health-care system since the 1960s, is expected to insure millions of Americans who previously couldn’t afford health coverage. Though blacks and Hispanics represent 25 percent of the U.S. population, they make up less than 15 percent of physicians, highlighting the need for medical schools to recruit more minority students, researchers said.
“When we think about our health-care system or just health in general, we need to make sure it’s meeting the needs of all members of society and it’s doing so in an equitable fashion,” said lead study author Lyndonna Marrast, a physician at Cambridge Health Alliance in Cambridge, Massachusetts, and a fellow in general medicine at Harvard Medical School. “The fact that minority physicians are much more likely to care for disadvantaged patients suggests that expanding the racial diversity of the physician workforce in the U.S. could be key to improving access to care.”
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