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Racial/Ethnic Differences in Primary Care Experiences in Patient-Centered Medical Homes among Veterans with Mental Health and Substance Use Disorders.

Jones AL, Mor MK, Cashy JP, Gordon AJ, Haas GL, Schaefer JH, Hausmann LR. Racial/Ethnic Differences in Primary Care Experiences in Patient-Centered Medical Homes among Veterans with Mental Health and Substance Use Disorders. Journal of general internal medicine. 2016 Dec 1; 31(12):1435-1443.

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BACKGROUND: Patient-Centered Medical Homes (PCMH) may be effective in managing care for racial/ethnic minorities with mental health and/or substance use disorders (MHSUDs). How such patients experience care in PCMH settings is relatively unknown. OBJECTIVE: We aimed to examine racial/ethnic differences in experiences with primary care in PCMH settings among Veterans with MHSUDs. DESIGN: We used multinomial regression methods to estimate racial/ethnic differences in PCMH experiences reported on a 2013 national survey of Veterans Affairs patients. PARTICPANTS: Veterans with past-year MHSUD diagnoses (n? = 65,930; 67 % White, 20 % Black, 11 % Hispanic, 1 % American Indian/Alaska Native[AI/AN], and 1 % Asian/Pacific Island[A/PI]). MAIN MEASURES: Positive and negative experiences from the Consumer Assessment of Healthcare Providers and Systems (CAHPS) PCMH Survey. RESULTS: Veterans with MHSUDs reported the lowest frequency of positive experiences with access (22 %) and the highest frequency of negative experiences with self-management support (30 %) and comprehensiveness (16 %). Racial/ethnic differences (as compared to Whites) were observed in all seven healthcare domains (p values? < 0.05). With access, Blacks and Hispanics reported more negative (Risk Differences [RDs]? = 2 .0;3.6) and fewer positive (RDs? = -2 .3;-2.3) experiences, while AI/ANs reported more negative experiences (RD? = 5.7). In communication, Blacks reported fewer negative experiences (RD? = -1.3); AI/ANs reported more negative (RD? = 3.6) experiences; and AI/ANs and APIs reported fewer positive (RD? = -6.5, -6.7) experiences. With office staff, Hispanics reported fewer positive experiences (RDs? = -3.0); AI/ANs and A/PIs reported more negative experiences (RDs? = 3.4; 3.7). For comprehensiveness, Blacks reported more positive experiences (RD? = 3.6), and Hispanics reported more negative experiences (RD? = 2.7). Both Blacks and Hispanics reported more positive (RDs? = 2.3; 4.2) and fewer negative (RDs? = -1.8; -1.9) provider ratings, and more positive experiences with decision making (RDs? = 2.4; 3.0). Blacks reported more positive (RD? = 3.9) and fewer negative (RD? = -5.1) experiences with self-management support. CONCLUSIONS: In a national sample of Veterans with MHSUDs, potential deficiencies were observed in access, self-management support, and comprehensiveness. Racial/ethnic minorities reported worse experiences than Whites with access, comprehensiveness, communication, and office staff helpfulness/courtesy.

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