New Research Points to Racial, Ethnic Disparities in California Health Care
Black HMO members in California are significantly more likely to seek treatment in hospital emergency departments and delay filling prescriptions than members of other racial or ethnic groups, researchers from the UCLA Center for Health Policy Research found, Payers & Providers reports.
The data indicate that 25% of black HMO members visited a hospital ED last year, compared with 18% of white HMO members and 13% of Asian-American HMO members.Â
In general, members of plans offered by Kaiser Permanente were more likely than members of other plans to seek care in EDs, but black Kaiser members still were 40% more likely than whites to go to an ED for care.
The study also found that 24.5% of blacks reported putting off filling a prescription, compared with 14.9% of whites, 10.8% of Hispanics and 6.1% of Asian-Americans.
Among members of Kaiser plans, 16.4% of blacks reported delaying filling a prescription, compared with 11.2% of whites, 8.8% of Hispanics and 8.2% of Asian-Americans (Payers & Providers , 10/8).
A separate study by Kaiser's research arm found that black and Asian-American women underwent caesarean sections for first births at significantly higher rates than white or Hispanic women, according to Payers & Providers.
The study was based on data from Kaiser hospitals in Southern California and was published in the October issue of the American Journal of Obstetrics and Gynecology.ÂThe study found that black Kaiser members were 25% more likely than white members to undergo a c-section and Asian-American members were 19% more likely than white members to have a c-section for their first pregnancy (Payers & Providers , 10/8). This is part of the California Healthline Daily Edition, a summary of health policy coverage from major news organizations. Sign up for an email subscription.