One in five Americans has no family doctor

About one in five Americans, or 60 million, say they don't have a usual source of healthcare, such as a family doctor or clinic, according to a report from the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality. The usual source of care is used as an indicator of access to ambulatory care.

Two-thirds of those who report no usual source of care said they didn't need it because they rarely or never get sick. But another 14 percent said the high cost of care is a barrier. Four percent reported that a usual source of care wasn't available, with 3 percent saying they don't use, trust or like doctors.

Not surprisingly, people with low incomes or no health insurance were more likely to report having no usual source of healthcare.

Among the more surprising findings, Hispanics are more likely to point to cost to explain why they have no regular doctor or clinic to rely on (22 percent), compared with non-Hispanic whites, Asians and blacks (all 12 percent each).

The findings were based on an analysis of 2007 in the Medical Expenditure Panel Survey.

To learn more:
- read the AHRQ statistical brief

Related Articles:
Could telemedicine help address primary-care shortages?
Study: Quality of U.S. healthcare low despite high spending
Study: Many insured Americans still confident about access to care
Health costs, red tape are causing Americans to skip care