The Degree of Usual Provider Continuity for African and Latino Americans
Abstract

Abstract:

This study used data from the 1987 National Medical Expenditure Survey to examine African and Latino Americans' reliance on a regular provider for medical care. Results showed that Latino Americans had higher continuity of care with their regular physician than white or African Americans. Persons with low continuity of care had one-third higher average health care expenditures per year than those with high continuity of care. Multivariate analyses indicated that the availability of medical services during the evenings and weekends enhanced the degree of continuity for white Americans; medical services during the evenings enhanced the degree of continuity for some Latino Americans. Controlling for other characteristics, the degree of continuity of care varied by both the race/ethnicity of respondent and the race/ethnicity and gender of their regular physician. These findings draw attention to the need to consider not only access to care but the nature of the provider-patient relationship.