Hispanics in Massachusetts Less Likely To Visit Physicians, Survey Finds
Hispanics in Massachusetts are less likely than whites to have visited a physician in the last year, according to a survey that was funded by the Blue Cross-Blue Shield of Massachusetts Foundation, the Commonwealth Fund and the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, the Springfield Republican reports. The survey also found that Hispanics were about twice as likely as whites to visit an emergency department for a nonemergency condition.
The survey, which was conducted last fall, included 4,041 adults ages 18 to 64 in Massachusetts. Overall, the survey found that people living in western Massachusetts had more difficulty accessing health services than people living in other areas of the state, in part because of a shortage of primary care physicians. While the survey found that nearly all state residents have health insurance, more than 25% of residents in four western counties reported that providers either would not accept their insurance or were not accepting new patients. The survey did not find significant differences across the state in the ability of residents to pay medical bills. In addition, the survey did not find any evidence that health care costs are more of a burden to Hispanics and blacks than to whites (McAuliffe, Springfield Republican, 5/28).