Study: Doctors with Large Share of Minority Patients Report Problems Delivering Quality Care

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<p>Primary care physicians who treat a disproportionate share of black and Latino patients provide more charity care, see more patients, depend more heavily on low-paying Medicaid, and earn lower incomes than physicians seeing mostly white patients, a new Commonwealth Fund-supported study finds.<br><br>As documented in the <em>Health Affairs</em> Web Exclusive article, <a href="/publications/in-the-literature/2008/apr/do-primary-care-physicians-treating-minority-patients-report-problems-delivering-high-quality-care
">Do Primary Care Physicians Treating Minority Patients Report Problems Delivering High-Quality Care?</a>, such practice constraints can have a profound effect on the ability of physicians to deliver high-quality care to patients. For instance, physicians treating large numbers of minority patients typically spend less time with each patient and have a harder time obtaining specialty care referrals than do other physicians.<br><br>The researchers, James Reschovsky and Ann O'Malley from the Center for Studying Health System Change, say that expanding insurance coverage, raising Medicaid payments to equal Medicare payments, and increasing the resources available to physicians who serve low-income and minority populations could all go a long way toward reducing disparities in quality.<br><br>A companion <a href="/sites/default/files/documents/_usr_doc_Reschovsky_chartpack_section_4039.pdf">chartpack</a> illustrating the study's findings is also available for free download.</p>