“How have trends in racial and ethnic disparities in barriers to timely medical care among adults in the US changed from 1999 to 2018?” César Caraballo, Chima D. Ndumele, Brita Roy, Yuan Lu, Carley Riley, Jeph Herrin and Harlan M. Krumholz write in JAMA Health Forum. “This serial cross-sectional study including 590,603 adults in the U.S. found that the prevalence of 5 barriers to timely medical care that are not directly related to cost of care increased across all race and ethnicity groups. By 2018, barrier prevalence was significantly higher among Black and Hispanic/Latino individuals who were more likely than White individuals to report experiencing long waiting times and lack of transportation. The findings of this serial cross-sectional study suggest that the marked differences among race and ethnicity groups and barriers to timely medical care that are not directly cost related may be contributing to health disparities. Racial and ethnic disparities in delayed medical care for reasons that are not directly associated with the cost of care remain understudied. Objective : To describe trends in racial and ethnic disparities in barriers to timely medical care among adults during a recent 20-year period. Design, Setting, and Participants: This was a serial cross-sectional study of 590,603 non-institutionalized adults in the U.S. using data from the National Health Interview Survey from 1999 to 2018. Data analyses were performed from December 2021 through August 2022. Exposures Self-reported race, ethnicity, household income, and sex. Main Outcomes and Measures Temporal trends in disparities regarding 5 specific barriers to timely medical care: inability to get through by telephone, no appointment available soon enough, long waiting times, inconvenient office or clinic hours, and lack of transportation.” César Caraballo, Chima D. Ndumele, Brita Roy, Yuan Lu, Carley Riley, Jeph Herrin and Harlan M. Krumholz “Trends in Racial and Ethnic Disparities in Barriers to Timely Medical Care Among Adults in the US, 1999 to 2018,” JAMA Health Forum, JAMA Network.
Jeanne Pinder is the founder and CEO of ClearHealthCosts. She worked at The New York Times for almost 25 years as a reporter, editor and human resources executive, then volunteered for a buyout and founded... More by Jeanne Pinder