Are Health Care Providers Prepared to Treat the Latino Population Adequately?

Are health care providers prepared to treat the Latino population adequately?


The Latino population steadily grows in the U.S. Is the modern-day primary health care provider ready to adequately treat the Latino population? The answer seems to be: No.

As a marketer and a strategist in the Healthcare industry, the first mistake I see in the market is, the perception that having bilingual personnel in a healthcare facility, makes the institution prepared to treat the Latino population. Language barriers are real. A high percentage of the U.S. Hispanic community needs translation, especially when in medical care. These barriers are also accompanied by potential risks to medical record’s accuracy, as well as a provider’s quality scores. Making language barriers smaller is indeed, a need, but not a solution. Consulting services could help your organization develop custom programs and invest in language services to become better equipped to serve the Latino population – contact YES today for more information.

Latinos and Health Care: A Look at the Numbers

According to the Census Bureau, Latinos accounted for 18% of the population in the U.S. in 2017. Census data projections show 24.6% of the population will be Latino by 2045. The Latino population present unique healthcare needs and medical challenges. If ignored, they present a big problem for overall population growth and life expectancy in the country. Latinos have a lower death rate (24%), when compared to Caucasians, but about 50% have a higher death rate from diabetes. Less heart disease (35%) than Caucasians, and 49% less cancer, but 23% more obesity.

This leads to the second biggest mistake I see in this industry, we’re missing the numbers. Only a few health care providers have invested in services targeted for Latinos beyond language services. If there’s no proactive care, negative trends in overall healthcare increases. If a healthcare provider lacks custom programs to address unique healthcare challenges, these expand; and will potentially affect 28+% of the population by 2045.

Dr. Gloria Sanchez, associate clinical professor of the David Geffen School of Medicine at UCLA, identifies culture, socio-economics, and social determinants of health, as factors that should play a role into “how the healthcare systems adapts to the healthcare population they are trying to serve.”

These key influencers are being overlooked, and hold important impacts on the quality of healthcare provided to a strongly growing population that accounts, today, for 18.1% of the U.S. population, and accounted for half of the population’s growth since 2000.

Mari Cely

Director, Business Strategy & Marketing
health care provider

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