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English Language Proficiency and Geographical Proximity to a Safety Net Clinic as a Predictor of Health Care Access (Journal of Immigrant and Minority Health)

December 1, 2010

CHIS Journal Article

Authors: Kristina M. Cordasco, Ninez A. Ponce, PhD, MPP, Melissa S. Gatchell, Brandon Traudt, Jose J. Escarce

Do limited English skills affect the ability of uninsured Californians to access health care at a safety net clinic? Yes, says Center Faculty Associate Ninez A. Ponce and colleagues in a Dec. 18, 2010, article in the Journal of Immigrant and Minority Health. Access problems grow even worse for this group the farther they lived from safety net clinics. Using data from the California Health Interview Survey (CHIS), the authors examined differences in language- and distance-barriers among uninsured Californians who are speak English fluently versus those with limited proficiency and conclude that having limited proficiency is a barrier to access to health care. They call for future studies to explore potential mechanisms so that appropriate interventions can be implemented.

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