Understanding Racial and Ethnic Disparities in Autism-Related Service Use Among Medicaid-Enrolled Children

Abstract [from journal]

Racial and ethnic disparities in the use of nine common autism-related services among Medicaid-enrolled children with autism spectrum disorder (ASD) were examined, distinguishing between school and other community-based outpatient settings. Using 2012 Medicaid Analytic Extract data, we identified 117,848 continuously enrolled children with ASD. Several racial and ethnic disparities were found, varying by geography. Black, Asian, and Native American/Pacific Islanders received fewer outpatient services compared with white children, but there was no disparity for Latinx children. Black and Asian children received more school-based services than white children. Disparities in case management/care coordination services were largest and present in each minority group. Geographic variation in receipt of services suggests targets for policy intervention to improve access for minorities with ASD.