Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Massachusetts health reform fails the disadvantaged, study finds

Date:
September 9, 2010
Source:
Springer Science+Business Media
Summary:
A new study looking at the effects of the 2006 Massachusetts Health Reform on access to care, health status and ethnic and socioeconomic disparities in healthcare, shows that the legislation has led to improvements in insurance coverage as well as a decline in financial barriers to care. However, to date, it has not increased people's access to a personal physician or improved their self-rated health. Neither has it reduced healthcare inequalities between ethnic or income groups.

New study demonstrates that US government health reforms alone are not sufficient to reduce the healthcare inequality gap

A new study looking at the effects of the 2006 Massachusetts Health Reform on access to care, health status and ethnic and socioeconomic disparities in healthcare, shows that the legislation has led to improvements in insurance coverage as well as a decline in financial barriers to care. However, to date, it has not increased people's access to a personal physician or improved their self-rated health. Neither has it reduced healthcare inequalities between ethnic or income groups.

The research by Jane Zhu from Harvard Medical School and team suggests that health reform is necessary but not sufficient to achieve equity in healthcare. The study is published online in the Journal of General Internal Medicine, published by Springer.

In 2006, Massachusetts passed comprehensive health reform legislation to expand health coverage to all its residents and has achieved near-universal coverage. However, less is known about the effects of the reform on its residents' access to care or health status, or how this legislation has impacted ethnic and socioeconomic disparities.

The authors examined trends from 2006 to 2008 in rates of coverage, financial barriers to care, access to a personal doctor, and self-reported health status for adults in Massachusetts compared with those in other New England states. They also analyzed changes in these measures by ethnicity and income and evaluated whether disparities narrowed during the two-year period. They looked at data for 36,505 Massachusetts and 63,263 other New England states residents.

After accounting for trends in New England generally over the two-year period, Zhu and team found that the Massachusetts Health Reform had led to expanded insurance coverage and reduced financial barriers to healthcare for working age adults. However, these successes were not accompanied by overall improvements in access to a regular physician or in self-reported health; in fact both remained essentially unchanged in both Massachusetts and New England.

Although there were improvements in both coverage and cost barriers in Massachusetts for some disadvantaged groups compared to trends in New England, overall this did not reduce healthcare inequalities between ethnic or socioeconomic groups, largely because of comparable or larger improvements among whites and those on higher incomes.

Zhu and colleagues conclude: "Taken together, these findings suggest that health reform policies should address social determinants of health more broadly if a goal is to advance health equity."


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by Springer Science+Business Media. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Journal Reference:

  1. Jane Zhu, Phyllis Brawarsky, Stuart Lipsitz, Haiden Huskamp and Jennifer S. Haas. Massachusetts Health Reform and Disparities in Coverage, Access and Health Status. Journal of General Internal Medicine, 2010; DOI: 10.1007/s11606-010-1482-y

Cite This Page:

Springer Science+Business Media. "Massachusetts health reform fails the disadvantaged, study finds." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 9 September 2010. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2010/09/100909074331.htm>.
Springer Science+Business Media. (2010, September 9). Massachusetts health reform fails the disadvantaged, study finds. ScienceDaily. Retrieved September 15, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2010/09/100909074331.htm
Springer Science+Business Media. "Massachusetts health reform fails the disadvantaged, study finds." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2010/09/100909074331.htm (accessed September 15, 2014).

Share This



More Health & Medicine News

Monday, September 15, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Respiratory Virus Spreads To Northeast, Now In 21 States

Respiratory Virus Spreads To Northeast, Now In 21 States

Newsy (Sep. 14, 2014) The respiratory virus Enterovirus D68, which targets children, has spread from the Midwest to 21 states. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Shocker: Journalists Are Utterly Addicted To Coffee

Shocker: Journalists Are Utterly Addicted To Coffee

Newsy (Sep. 13, 2014) A U.K. survey found that journalists consumed the most amount of coffee, but that's only the tip of the coffee-related statistics iceberg. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Contagious Respiratory Illness Continues to Spread Across U.S.

Contagious Respiratory Illness Continues to Spread Across U.S.

Reuters - US Online Video (Sep. 12, 2014) Hundreds of children in several states have been stricken by a serious respiratory illness that is spreading across the U.S. Linda So reports. Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com
Ebola Batters Sierra Leone Economy Too

Ebola Batters Sierra Leone Economy Too

Reuters - Business Video Online (Sep. 12, 2014) The World Health Organisation warns that local health workers in West Africa can't keep up with Ebola - and among those countries hardest hit by the outbreak, the economic damage is coming into focus, too. As David Pollard reports, Sierra Leone admits that growth in one of the poorest economies in the region is taking a beating. Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:

Breaking News:
from the past week

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

    Technology News



    Save/Print:
    Share:

    Free Subscriptions


    Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

    Get Social & Mobile


    Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

    Have Feedback?


    Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
    Mobile: iPhone Android Web
    Follow: Facebook Twitter Google+
    Subscribe: RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
    Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins