Differences in use of high- and low-value health care between immigrant and US-born adults

Sungchul Park, Arturo Vargas Bustamante, Jie Chen, Alexander N. Ortega

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

Objective: To examine differences in the use of high- and low-value health care between immigrant and US-born adults. Data Source: The 2007–2019 Medical Expenditure Panel Survey. Study Design: We split the sample into younger (ages 18–64 years) and older adults (ages 65 years and over). Our outcome measures included the use of high-value care (eight services) and low-value care (seven services). Our key independent variable was immigration status. For each outcome, we ran regressions with and without individual-level characteristics. Data Collection/Extraction Methods: N/A. Principal Findings: Before accounting for individual-level characteristics, the use of high- and low-value care was lower among immigrant adults than US-born adults. After accounting for individual-level characteristics, this difference decreased in both groups of younger and older adults. For high-value care, significant differences were observed in five services and the direction of the differences was mixed. The use of breast cancer screening was lower among immigrant than US-born younger and older adults (−5.7 [95% CI: −7.4 to −3.9] and −2.9 percentage points [95% CI: −5.6 to −0.2]) while the use of colorectal cancer screening was higher among immigrant than US-born younger and older adults (2.6 [95% CI: 0.5 to 4.8] and 3.6 [95% CI: 0.2 to 7.0] percentage points). For low-value care, we did not identify significant differences except for antibiotics for acute upper respiratory infection among younger adults and opioids for back pain among older adults (−3.5 [95% CI: −5.5 to −1.5] and −3.8[95% CI: −7.3 to −0.2] percentage points). Particularly, differences in socioeconomic status, health insurance, and care access between immigrant and US-born adults played a key role in accounting for differences in the use of high- and low-value health care. The use of high-value care among immigrant and US-born adults increased over time, but the use of low-value care did not decrease. Conclusion: Differential use of high- and low-value care between immigrant and US-born adults may be partly attributable to differences in individual-level characteristics, especially socioeconomic status, health insurance, and access to care.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1098-1108
Number of pages11
JournalHealth Services Research
Volume58
Issue number5
DOIs
StatePublished - Oct 2023

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2023 Health Research and Educational Trust.

Keywords

  • high-value care
  • immigrants
  • low-value care
  • Medicare
  • US-born residents
  • value-based care

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