The Impact of Discriminatory Healthcare Experiences on Use of Medicaid-funded Dental Care Services in California

Author(s): Yuri Jang, Min-Kyoung Rhee, Chung Hyeon Jeong, Woo Jung Lee, Ann-Marie Yamada, Haomiao Jin, Piedad Suarez-Durall

The present study conceptualized that prior experience of discrimination in healthcare settings would be a barrier to using dental care services among Medicaid beneficiaries in the states where dental care is a covered benefit (e.g., California). Using a sample of adult Medicaid beneficiaries included in the 2017 California Health Interview Study (CHIS; N = 4779), the present study examined the impact of discriminatory healthcare experiences on their use of dental care services. Over 36% of the participants reported that they had experienced discrimination in healthcare settings, and about 40% had no dental visit in the past year. Prior experience of discrimination reduced the odds of using dental care services by 18% (Odds Ratio = 0.82, 95% Confidence Interval = 0.72−0.93, p < .01). Findings provide implications for promoting oral health and dental care among those socially disadvantaged by addressing discrimination in healthcare settings.

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