Racial/Ethnic Disparities in Primary Care Quality Among Type 2 Diabetes Patients, Medical Expenditure Panel Survey, 2012
Racial and ethnic disparities exist in diabetes prevalence, access to diabetes care, diabetes-related complications and mortality rates, and the quality of diabetes care among Americans. We explored racial and ethnic disparities in primary care quality among Americans with type 2 diabetes.
We analyzed data on adults with type 2 diabetes derived from the household component of the 2012 Medical Expenditure Panel Survey. Multiple regression and multivariate logistic regressions were used to examine the association between race/ethnicity and primary care attributes related to first contact, longitudinality, comprehensiveness, and coordination, and clusters of confounding factors were added sequentially.
Preliminary findings indicated differences in primary care quality between racial/ethnic minorities and whites across measures of first contact, longitudinality, comprehensiveness, and coordination. After controlling for confounding factors, these differences were no longer apparent; all racial/ethnic categories showed similar rates of primary care quality according to the 4 primary care domains of interest in the study.
Results indicate equitable primary care quality for type 2 diabetes patients across 4 key domains of primary care after controlling for socioeconomic characteristics. Additional research is necessary to support these findings, particularly when considering smaller racial/ethnic groups and investigating outcomes related to diabetes.