alexa The contribution of insurance coverage and community resources to reducing racial ethnic disparities in access to care.
Biomedical Sciences

Biomedical Sciences

Journal of Bioengineering & Biomedical Science

Author(s): Hargraves JL, Hadley J

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Abstract OBJECTIVE: To examine the extent to which health insurance coverage and available safety net resources reduced racial and ethnic disparities in access to care. DATA SOURCES: Nationally representative sample of 11,692 African American, 10,325 Hispanic, and 74,397 white persons. Nonelderly persons with public or private health insurance and those who were uninsured. STUDY DESIGN: Two cross-sectional surveys of households conducted during 1996-1997 and 1998-1999. DATA COLLECTION: Commonly used measures of access to and utilization of medical care were constructed for individuals. These measures include the following. (1) percent reporting unmet medical needs, (2) percent without a regular health care provider, and (3) no visit with a physician in the past year. FINDINGS: More than 6.5 percent of Hispanic and African Americans reported having unmet medical needs compared to less than 5.6 percent of white Americans. Hispanics were least likely to see the same doctor at their usual source of care (59 percent), compared to African Americans (66 percent) and whites (75 percent). Similarly, Hispanics were less likely than either African Americans or whites to have seen a doctor in the last year (65 percent compared to 76 percent or 79 percent). For Hispanics, more than 80 percent of the difference from whites was due to differences in measured characteristics (e.g., insurance coverage, income, and available safety net services). Differences in measured characteristics between African Americans and whites explained less than 80 percent of the access disparities. CONCLUSION: Lack of health insurance was the single most important factor in white-Hispanic differences for all three measures and for two of the white-African American differences. Income differences were the second most important factor, with one exception. Community characteristics generally were much less important, with one exception. The positive effects of insurance coverage in reducing disparities outweigh benefits of increasing physician charity care or access to emergency rooms.
This article was published in Health Serv Res and referenced in Journal of Bioengineering & Biomedical Science

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  • Yosef Yarden
    Classically, the 3’untranslated region (3’UTR) is that region in eukaryotic protein-coding genes from the translation termination codon to the polyA signal. It is transcribed as an integral part of the mRNA encoded by the gene. However, there exists another kind of RNA, which consists of the 3’UTR alone, without all other elements in mRNA such as 5’UTR and coding region. The importance of independent 3’UTR RNA (referred as I3’UTR) was prompted by results of artificially introducing such RNA species into malignant mammalian cells. Since 1991, we found that the middle part of the 3’UTR of the human nuclear factor for interleukin-6 (NF-IL6) or C/EBP gene exerted tumor suppression effect in vivo. Our subsequent studies showed that transfection of C/EBP 3’UTR led to down-regulation of several genes favorable for malignancy and to up-regulation of some genes favorable for phenotypic reversion. Also, it was shown that the sequences near the termini of the C/EBP 3’UTR were important for its tumor suppression activity. Then, the C/EBP 3’UTR was found to directly inhibit the phosphorylation activity of protein kinase CPKC in SMMC-7721, a hepatocarcinoma cell line. Recently, an AU-rich region in the C/EBP 3’UTR was found also to be responsible for its tumor suppression. Recently we have also found evidence that the independent C/EBP 3’UTR RNA is actually exists in human tissues, such as fetal liver and heart, pregnant uterus, senescent fibroblasts etc. Through 1990’s to 2000’s, world scientists found several 3’UTR RNAs that functioned as artificial independent RNAs in cancer cells and resulted in tumor suppression. Interestingly, majority of genes for these RNAs have promoter-like structures in their 3’UTR regions, although the existence of their transcribed products as independent 3’UTR RNAs is still to be confirmed. Our studies indicate that the independent 3’UTR RNA is a novel non-coding RNA species whose function should be the regulation not of the expression of their original mRNA, but of some essential life activities of the cell as a whole.
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