Report Shows Disparities in Clinician Consideration of Care Preferences for Older Adults

One-third of people 50 and older report rarely or never having their care preferences taken into account by their clinicians, with more people of color and lower-income individuals saying so.

A report and infographic, created in conjunction with the LeadingAge LTSS Center @UMass Boston and the Center for Consumer Engagement in Health Innovation at Community Catalyst with support from The SCAN Foundation, provides the first ever look at how person-centered care models are working (or not) for older adults.

Comparing data from 2014, 2016, and 2018 from the Health and Retirement Study, researchers find that whether older adults’ preferences are taken into account by health care providers is heavily dependent upon race, insurance, and income level, specifically:

  • Black and Hispanic older adults are more likely to report never having their health preferences considered versus White adults. Twenty-four percent of Hispanic adults report never having their preferences considered, compared to 17% for Black and 7% for White older adults respectively.
  • Individuals who report their clinicians never account for their preferences are twice as likely to have incomes below the Federal Poverty Level ($12,140 for an individual) compared to those who report clinicians always take their preferences into account (23.5% to 12.3% respectively).
  • Higher numbers of people on Medicaid report clinicians sometimes or never consider their care preferences (8.7% to 5.0% respectively).

See the full report here for more information and the infographic here.