Journal of Racial and Ethnic Health Disparities

, Volume 6, Issue 5, pp 1011–1020 | Cite as

The Impact of Patient-Provider Race/Ethnicity Concordance on Provider Visits: Updated Evidence from the Medical Expenditure Panel Survey

  • Alyson Ma
  • Alison SanchezEmail author
  • Mindy Ma



To examine the association between race/ethnicity concordance and in-person provider visits following the implementation of the Affordable Care Act.


Using 2014–2015 data from the Medical Expenditure Panel Survey, we examine whether having a provider of the same race or ethnicity (“race/ethnicity concordance”) affects the probability that an individual will visit a provider. Multivariate probit models are estimated to adjust for demographic, socioeconomic, and health factors.


Race/ethnicity concordance significantly increases the likelihood of seeking preventative care for Hispanic, African-American, and Asian patients relative to White patients (coef = 1.46, P < 0.001; coef = 0.71, P = 0.09; coef = 1.70, P < 0.001, respectively). Race/ethnicity concordance also increases the likelihood that Hispanic and Asian patients visit their provider for new health problems (coef = 2.14, P < 0.001 and coef = 1.49, P < 0.05, respectively). We find that race/ethnicity concordance is also associated with an increase in the likelihood that Hispanic and Asian patients continue to visit their provider for ongoing medical problems (Hispanic coef = 1.06, P < 0.001; Asian coef = 1.24, P < 0.05).


There is an association between race/ethnicity concordance and the likelihood of patients visiting their provider. Our results demonstrate that racial disparities in health care utilization may be partially explained by race/ethnicity concordance.


Race concordance Race/ethnicity concordance Health care utilization Racial disparities Provider visits 


Compliance with Ethical Standards

Conflict of Interest

The authors declare that they have no conflict of interest.



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Copyright information

© W. Montague Cobb-NMA Health Institute 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of EconomicsUniversity of San Diego School of BusinessSan DiegoUSA
  2. 2.Department of Psychology and NeuroscienceNova Southeastern UniversityFort LauderdaleUSA

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