The future of health care in America? Think Hispanic

A separate study, by Pew Research, finds that fewer than half of Hispanics say they have a regular doctor. People bring habits with them when they immigrate to the United States, Connolly says. “In many countries in Latin America, they are going to pharmacies for much more of their care than just picking up a prescription,” she said in an interview.

That’s a pattern that health care experts predict for the United States in general, as more people get health insurance and demand health care not just from doctors, but from pharmacies, retail clinics and other alternative venues.

Hispanics are also leaders in technology, even if they are less likely than other Americans to have a home computer. “We definitely think the rest of the country is following close behind in the use of technology for health care,” Connolly said.

For instance, the report found that 45 percent of Hispanics have searched the Internet for a health care provider, compared to 41 percent of the non-Hispanics. And 34 percent of Hispanics said they were influenced by social media in making their choice, compared to 27 percent of non-Hispanics.