Masters Thesis

Identifying best practices for health care reform: what works in the microcosm of U.S.-Mexico border communities

The rising cost of U.S. health care needs to be addressed in reform. Identifying best practices from other health care systems may reveal concepts that could be used to lower health care cost. Studying health care in the microcosm of a U.S.-Mexico border community provided an opportunity to observe consumers and providers that have intimate knowledge of U.S.-Mexico health care systems overlap. The systems overlap increased health care choices and opportunities for some border residents, providing a means to health care services that are satisfying from the perspective of the consumer. Available research supported focusing this study on the El Paso-Ciudad Juárez metropolis and provided data on cross-border health care utilization. This study used qualitative methods to analyze textual material from seven in-person interviews. A coding process identified core concepts and the relationship to current health care issues. The respondents’ health care experiences revealed (through analysis) some level of satisfaction or dissatisfaction, which was the basis for determining a best practice for further study. The study concludes that border residents were satisfied with government provided primary and preventative health care, low cost government health insurance, the physician practice of evidence-based medicine, and mandatory social service as a prerequisite to a professional degree.

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