Doctors, patients and the racial mortality gap
Research in the health sciences reports persistent racial differences in health care access, utilization, and outcomes. This study investigates three potential sources of these disparities – differential quality of care, physician discrimination, and patient response to therapy. It uses a unique panel dataset of physician–patient encounters, the resulting medication therapies and the patients’ adherence to those medical recommendations. Equalizing access to quality health care will not erase the racial differences in mortality among chronically ill patients. Targeted programs aimed at improving adherence with medication therapy among disadvantaged groups must be an integral part of any policy aimed at achieving equality in health outcomes.
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