Objectives. We examined the association between the size and growth of Latino populations and hospitals' uncompensated care in California. Methods. Our sample consisted of general acute care hospitals in California operating during 2000 and 2010 (n = 251). We merged California hospital data with US Census data for each hospital service area. We used spatial analysis, multivariate regression, and fixed-effect models. Results. We found a significant association between the growth of California's Latino population and hospitals' uncompensated care in the unadjusted regression. This association was still significant after we controlled for hospital and community population characteristics. After we added market characteristics into the final model, this relationship became nonsignificant. Conclusions. Our findings suggest that systematic support is needed in areas with rapid Latino population growth to control hospitals' uncompensated care, especially if Latinos are excluded from or do not respond to the insurance options made available through the Affordable Care Act. Improving availability of resources for hospitals and providers in areas with high Latino population growth could help alleviate financial pressures.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health