Disparities for Latino children in the timely receipt of medical care

David C. Brousseau, Raymond G. Hoffmann, Jennifer Yauck, Ann B. Nattinger, Glenn Flores

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

32 Scopus citations


Objective. - It is not known whether Latino children, the largest minority population in the United States, experience disparities in the timeliness of their access to health care. We compared timeliness of care among Latino, white, and African American children. Methods. - Design: cross-sectional cohort from the 2000 Medical Expenditure Panel Survey. Patients: children with a usual source of care. Outcome measure: timeliness of care was assessed using parent reports of their child's 1) routine care, 2) illness care, 3) phone help, and 4) experiencing of a brief wait time. Analysis: multiple logistic regression was used to determine the adjusted odds of not always receiving timely medical care. Results. - Four-thousand one-hundred twenty children were included. Latino children were less likely to always (P <.05) receive timely care compared with whites and African Americans, respectively, in 3 areas: routine care, phone help, and brief wait time. Multiple regression revealed decreased relative risks (RR, 95% CI) of always receiving timely medical care for Latinos in the same areas: routine care, compared with whites (0.88, 0.79-0.98) and African Americans (0.81, 0.70-0.93); phone help, compared with whites (0.84, 0.76-0.92) and African Americans (0.86, 0.76-0.960); and brief wait time, compared with whites (0.71, 0.65-0.80) and African Americans (0.81, 0.70-0.92). With parental survey language in the model, Latinos experienced decreased timeliness of care for routine care compared with African Americans (0.85, 0.72-0.98); phone help compared with whites (0.87, 0.77-0.96); and brief wait times compared with whites (0.79, 0.71-0.87). Conclusions. - Latino children experience marked disparities in obtaining timely medical care, only some of which is associated with language differences.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)319-325
Number of pages7
JournalAmbulatory Pediatrics
Issue number6
StatePublished - 2005


  • Children
  • Disparities
  • Latino
  • Quality of care

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pediatrics, Perinatology, and Child Health


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