Arturo Vargas Bustamante

Arturo Vargas Bustamante

Professor of Health Policy and Management and Public Policy


Ph.D. in Public Policy, University of California, Berkeley
M.A. in Economics, University of California, Berkeley
M.P.P., University of California, Berkeley

Areas of Interest:


(310) 206-4744


Office Location:

UCLA Fielding School of Public Health / Department of Health Policy and Management / 31-254B CHS

Arturo Vargas Bustamante is an Associate Professor in the Department of Health Policy and Management at the UCLA Fielding School of Public Health. He has a broad background in health policy, with specific training and expertise in health care survey research and data analysis, health care cost estimation, economic valuation and program evaluation. His research investigates unexplored or underexplored topics on access to health care, predominantly among Latinos/Hispanics and immigrants in the United States. He also specializes in the comparative analyses of health care delivery systems in Latin American countries. His research has been published in reputable health policy journals such as Health AffairsHealth Services ResearchSocial Science and Medicine, the American Journal of Preventive Medicine, among others. The outcomes of his research have had direct policy applications, particularly since they estimate the share of disparities that can be attributed to socioeconomic and demographic factors and the corresponding part associated to health system variables, such as usual source of care and insurance status.

Professor Vargas Bustamante holds a PhD (2008) in Public Policy, an M.A. (2006) in Economics and an M.P.P. (2004) all from UC-Berkeley. As part of his professional experience, he worked as a consultant for the Inter-American Development Bank and for the California Program on Access to Care. Before he worked for the Health Care Financing Administration of the Mexican Ministry of Health.

Selected Courses:

HPM 200 Health Care Organization and Financing

HPM 206 Health Care for Vulnerable Populations

HPM 226 Readings in Health Services Research

Selected Publications:

1. Contributions to U.S. Latino/Hispanic Health Care Research:

Vargas Bustamante A, Fang H, Rizzo JA, Ortega AN. Understanding observed and unobserved health care access and utilization disparities among US Latino adultsMedical Care Research & Review, 2009;66(5):561-77.

Vargas Bustamante A, Fang H, Rizzo JA, Ortega AN. Heterogeneity in health insurance coverage among US Latino adults. Journal of General Internal Medicine, 2009;24 Suppl 3:561-6.

Vargas Bustamante A, Chen J, Rodriguez HP, Rizzo JA, Ortega AN.  Use of preventive care services among Latino subgroups. American Journal of Preventive Medicine, 2010;38(6):610-9.

Vargas Bustamante A, Chen J. Physicians cite hurdles ranging from lack of coverage to poor communication in providing high-quality care to latinos. Health Affairs, 2011;30(10):1921-9.

2. Contributions to U.S. Immigrant Health Care Research:

Vargas Bustamante A, Chen J.  The great recession and health spending among uninsured U.S. citizens and non-citizens: implications for the afffordable care act implementationHealth Services Research, 2014 Dec;49(6):1900-24.

Vargas Bustamante A, Fang H, Garza J, Carter-Pokras O, Wallace SP, Rizzo JA, et al. Variations in healthcare access and utilization among Mexican immigrants: the role of documentation status. Journal of Immigrant and Minority Health / Center for Minority Public Health, 2012;14(1):146-55.

Vargas Bustamante A, Chen J, Health expenditure dynamics and years of U.S. residence: analyzing spending disparities among Latinos by citizenship/nativity status. Health Services Research, 2012;47(2):794-818.

Chen J, Vargas-Bustamante A, Ortega AN. Health care expenditures among Asian American subgroups. Medical Care Research and Review, 2013;70(3):310-29.

3. Contributions to Cross-Border Health Care Research:

Vargas Bustamante A, Ojeda G, Castaneda X. Willingness to pay for cross-border health insurance between the United States and Mexico. Health Affairs, 2008;27(1):169-78.

Laugesen MJ, Vargas-Bustamante A. A patient mobility framework that travels: European and United States-Mexican comparisons. Health Policy, 2010;97(2-3):225-31.

Vargas Bustamante A, Laugesen M, Caban M, Rosenau P.  United States-Mexico cross-border health insurance initiatives: Salud Migrante and medicare in Mexico. Pan American Journal of Public Health, 2012;31(1):74-80.

Gonzalez Block MA, Vargas Bustamante A, de la Sierra LA, Martinez Cardoso A. Redressing the limitations of the affordable care act for Mexican immigrants through bi-national health insurance: a willingness to pay study in Los Angeles. Journal of Immigrant and Minority Health / Center for Minority Public Health, 2014;16(2):179-88.

4. Contributions to Comparative Health Systems Research:

Vargas Bustamante A.  The tradeoff between centralized and decentralized health services: evidence from rural areas in Mexico. Social Science & Medicine, 2010;71(5):925-34.

Vargas Bustamante AComparing federal and state healthcare provider performance in villages targeted by the conditional cash transfer programme of Mexico. Tropical Medicine & International Health: TM & IH, 2011;16(10):1251-9.

Vargas-Bustamante A. Menu labeling perception & health behaviors between immigrant and U.S.-born minority populations: assessment in two Los Angeles public marketsSalud Pública, 2013;55 Suppl 4:S515-22.

Vargas Bustamante A, Mendez CA. Healthcare privatization in Latin America: what explains diverging healthcare privatization policies in Chile, Colombia and MexicoJournal of Health Care Politics, Policy and the Law, 2014;39(4):841-86.