The purpose of this paper is twofold: (1) to highlight the complex and multidimensional nature of the language barrier problem relative to the health status of U.S. ethnic groups and to health care delivery in the United States and (2) to identify the challenges faced by the U.S. health care system to overcome these obstacles as we enter the 21st century. The paper illustrates the multiple facets of this public health issue by examining current literature focusing on how ethnic groups such as Latino, Asian Pacific Islander, and Arab Americans are affected by these impediments. To overcome these barriers, managed care initiatives developed by provider networks and health plans will have to become more responsive to these impediments and invest financial resources if health care access problems are to be prevented.


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pp. S21-S25
Launched on MUSE
Open Access
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