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The Role of Clinics in Determining Older Recent Immigrants’ Use of Health Services


Immigrants are ineligible for federally-funded Medicaid in the U.S. until at least 5 years after arrival. There is little information on where they receive care in light of this restriction. Using Blinder–Oaxaca decomposition, this study examines whether the setting in which older recent immigrants receive care (i.e., health clinic, emergency room or doctor’s office) explains delays in care. Among older adults with a usual source of care, 13.5% of recent immigrants had not seen a health professional in the past year compared to 8.6% of non-recent immigrants and 6.3% of native-born. Approximately 23% of these differences is attributable to recent immigrants’ tendency to receive care in clinics and community health centers. Even when older recent immigrants manage to find a usual source of care, it is of lower quality than that received by their non-recent immigrant and native-born counterparts.

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This study was funded by a pilot grant from the NewCourtland Center for Transitions and Health (no grant number) [to Alma Vega] and the National Institute on Aging (P01AG022481) [to Emma Aguila].

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Correspondence to Alma Vega.

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Vega, A., Porteny, T. & Aguila, E. The Role of Clinics in Determining Older Recent Immigrants’ Use of Health Services. J Immigrant Minority Health 20, 1468–1475 (2018).

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  • Clinics
  • Migration
  • Health policy
  • Aging