, Volume 14, Issue 5, pp 731-737

Health Care Access and Utilization Among US-Born and Foreign-Born Asian Americans

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Abstract

Despite efforts to eliminate inequality in health and health care, disparities in health care access and utilization persist in the United States. The purpose of this study was to compare the access to care and use of health care services of US-born and foreign-born Asian Americans. We used aggregated data from the National Health Interview Survey (NHIS) from 2003 to 2005, including 2,500 participants who identified themselves as Asian. Associations between country of birth and reported access and utilization of care in the previous 12 months were examined. After controlling for covariates, being foreign-born was negatively related to indicators of access to care, including health insurance (OR = 0.29, 95%CI = 0.18–0.48), routine care access (OR = 0.52, 95%CI = 0.36–0.75), and sick care access [OR = 0.67, 95%CI = 0.47–0.96)]. Being foreign-born was also negatively related to all indicators of health care utilization (office visit: OR = 0.58, 95%CI = 0.41–0.81; seen/talked to a general doctor: OR = 0.69, 95%CI = 0.52–0.90; seen/talked to a specialist: OR = 0.42, 95%CI = 0.28–0.63) but ER visit (OR = 0.84, 95%CI = 0.59–1.20). There are substantial differences by country of birth in health care access and utilization among Asian Americans. Our findings emphasize the need for developing culturally sensitive health services and intervention programs for Asian communities.