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Some have issues with access, while others aren’t sure they’ll get quality care, according to a report by McKinsey & Company.
Black and Latino patients are more likely to avoid going to a doctor when they’re feeling sick and also worry about getting less care due to their race, according to a new report from McKinsey & Company.
The report, published May 4, examines the perceptions of Black and Latino patients and is designed to offer insights into how healthcare providers can meet their needs.
Black and Latino consumers cited a number of reasons they sought healthcare less often than white patients.
About half of Latino and Black patients (48% and 46% respectively) said they didn’t get care because they didn’t think they could afford it, while 35% of white consumers pointed to the cost as the reason they didn’t seek care.
Black and Latino Americans are 1.7 times more likely to have medical debt of more than $1,000, the report notes. Some in those groups are less likely to have savings to help cover the costs of medication or treatment.
Transportation is a significant hurdle for Black and Latino patients.
Two out of five Black patients (40%) said they didn’t seek treatment because they lacked transportation, and 39% of Latino patients also cited transportation as an impediment. One in four white patients (25%) identified transportation as the reason they didn’t seek care.
In a recent interview with Chief Healthcare Executive, Anton Bizzell, CEO of the Bizzell Group, pointed to hassles with transportation as a key factor preventing members from minority groups getting to appointments for care, including COVID-19 vaccinations. “Even in this pandemic, folks are not able to get to their appointments because of transportation issues, or because they are working, or because they can’t get daycare,” Bizzell said.
Length of appointments
About half of Black and Latino patients (52% and 49%, respectively) said they didn’t pursue healthcare because they thought it would take too long, a concern expressed by 36% of white patients.
Black and Latino workers are more likely to hold jobs where they have limited time to go to medical appointments, the report suggests.
Concerns about treatment
Some Black and Latino patients said they perceived they receive lower quality care because of their race. The report found 12% of Black patients felt they received lower quality care because of their race, while 8% of Latino patients held that view. Conversely, 6% of white patients identified their race or ethnicity as the reason for lower quality care.
Among those citing concerns about their race affecting the level of care they received, respondents cited bias against their race or ethnicity and said clinicians made assumptions that affected their treatment. Others said providers “talked down” to them or didn’t understand their needs.
The Mckinsey report outlined several potential remedies to provide more care for Black and Latino patients.
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