Some Hispanics Face Health Care Access Issues
Hispanics in smaller, more rural communities have greater barriers in accessing care than do Hispanics in larger communities, according to a report released on Thursday by the Kaiser Commission on Medicaid and the Uninsured, the Bradenton Herald reports.
For the study, researchers compared insurance coverage for Hispanics living in "new growth" communities, with those living in "major Hispanic centers." The study classifies new growth communities as areas that experienced a 90% increase in Hispanic population growth within the last seven years, but where Spanish-speaking residents number less than 5% of the total population.
Major Hispanic population centers are cities with large Hispanic populations like Chicago, Miami, Los Angeles and New York City, according to the study (Wright, Bradenton Herald, 9/22).
The study finds that 50% of Hispanics in rural areas live within 10 miles of a safety-net hospital, compared with 82% of Hispanics in larger cities. Findings show that Hispanic patients and their physicians in new-growth communities reported having a more difficult time communicating than those in larger cities (United Press International, 9/21).
In addition, among populations where people are unable to access routine medical care, children often miss vaccinations and treatment for contagious diseases, the report said.
According to Peter Cunningham, lead author of the study, Hispanics are much less likely than other groups to have health insurance because a large number are employed in low-wage jobs that do not offer health benefits (Bradenton Herald, 9/22).