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Summary Measure of Access to Health Care
In the 2004 NHDR, efforts to summarize disparities in access to health care have been refined. In the Highlights and in Chapter 4, Priority Populations, a subset of measures for which comparable data are available for 2000 and 2001 are highlighted. This subset consists of 31 measures of access to health care. Health care utilization measures are not included to allow focus on access measures more directly related to health care. Data sources are the Medical Expenditure Panel Survey (MEPS) and the National Health Interview Survey (NHIS).
For each measure, racial, ethnic, and socioeconomic groups are compared with an appropriate comparison group; each group could have access to care that is worse than, about the same as, or better than the comparison group. Only relative differences of at least 10% and statistically significant with p< 0.05 are discussed in this report; other differences are classified in the "about the same" category. For each group, the percent of measures for which the group had worse access to care, similar access to care, or better access to care were then calculated.
Data on all measures were not available for all racial, ethnic, and socioeconomic groups. Table 7 lists access measures available for the groups summarized in the report: blacks, Hispanics, Asians or Asian and Pacific Islanders (API), American Indians and Alaska Natives (AI/AN), Hispanics, and the poor. Tables 8-12 present findings related to the measures of access to health care with comparable data for 2000 and 2001 for Blacks compared with Whites (Table 8), Asians or API compared with Whites (Table 9), AI/AN compared with Whites (Table 10), Hispanics compared with Non-Hispanic Whites (Table 11), and Poor compared with High Income people (Table 12).