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Low reimbursement means US doctors with many ethnic minority patients have less time for each consultation

BMJ 2008; 336 doi: (Published 24 April 2008) Cite this as: BMJ 2008;336:908
  1. Bob Roehr
  1. 1Washington, DC

Low levels of compensation from Medicaid programmes in the United States contribute to racial and ethnic disparities in health care, a study has shown (Health Affairs 2008 Apr 22; doi: 10.1377/hlthaff.27.3.w222). The federal-state programmes serve poor Americans who meet their eligibility criteria.

Primary care doctors with predominately black and Latino patients see more patients and provide more charity care. They also earn less than colleagues who treat fewer patients from ethnic minority groups.

The study, by James Reschovsky and Ann O’Malley at the Center for Studying Health System Change, was based on responses from 3320 primary care doctors who participated in the 2004-5 …

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