In July and August 2019, CPEHN worked with six partner organizations, including Disability Rights Education and Defense Fund, Black Women for Wellness, Latino Coalition for a Healthy California, Asian Americans Advancing Justice-Los Angeles, Consortium for Urban Indian Health, and Diversity Collective of Ventura County to host six focus groups across the state to gather data for the Health Equity System Transformation (HEST) project. These focus groups sought to engage consumers with diverse identities and backgrounds, including race/ethnicity, sexual orientation and gender identity, primary language, disability status, age, and marital status. Discussions were around key areas including accessibility and quality of care, health care costs, doctor-patient engagement, and cultural sensitivity. As a result, we heard many voices and stories reflecting a diversity of health care experiences. We were also able to identify the following common themes shared among many focus group participants.
Barriers Accessing Care
Many reported challenges accessing health care, even when they had health coverage or insurance.
Wait times for appointments and at visits were long. Participants reported that it could take weeks before getting an appointment, and sometimes hours on the day of the visit to be seen by a doctor.
Language access was inadequate. Many reported they had never been informed of their right to an interpreter. Those who received interpretation complained about its poor quality.