mHealth Intelligence: Hispanic Patients Used Virtual Care Less After COVID-19 Diagnosis
A study published in BMC Health Services found that Hispanic and Latino individuals are significantly less likely to use, and therefore benefit from, virtual primary care as compared to White populations. Researchers found that virtual primary care increased significantly between the pre- and mid-COVID-19 periods, rising from 3.6 percent to 10.3 percent. However, in-person primary care remained relatively stable, dropping only slightly from 21 percent to 20.7 percent. While social vulnerability measures did not appear to impact virtual primary care use, individuals living in areas characterized as vulnerable based on minority status, language, housing type, and transportation were less likely to use in-person primary care than people living in areas not characterized as vulnerable in these ways. Researchers concluded that the expansion of virtual care amplified disparities in care access, as specific individuals had less access to certain necessary resources.