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National Healthcare Disparities Report, 2007

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Chapter 3. Access to Health Care

Contents

Facilitators and Barriers to Health Care
Health Care Utilization
Summary Tables
References

Many Americans have good access to health care that enables them to benefit fully from the Nation's health care system. However, others face barriers that make the acquisition of basic health services difficult. As demonstrated by extensive research and confirmed in previous National Healthcare Disparities Reports (NHDRs), racial and ethnic minorities and persons of low socioeconomic status (SES)i are disproportionately represented among those with access problems. Poor access to health care comes at both a personal and societal cost: for example, if persons do not receive vaccinations, they may become ill and spread disease to others, increasing the burden of disease for society overall in addition to the burden borne individually.

Components of Health Care Access

Access to health care means having "the timely use of personal health services to achieve the best health outcomes."1 Attaining good access to care requires three discrete steps:

  • Gaining entry into the health care system.
  • Getting access to sites of care where patients can receive needed services.
  • Finding providers who meet the needs of individual patients and with whom patients can develop a relationship based on mutual communication and trust.2

Health care access is measured in several ways, including:

  • Structural measures of the presence or absence of specific resources that facilitate health care, such as having health insurance or a usual source of care.
  • Assessments by patients of how easily they are able to gain access to health care.
  • Utilization measures of the ultimate outcome of good access to care—i.e., the successful receipt of needed services.

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How This Chapter Is Organized

This chapter presents new information about disparities in access to health care in America. It is divided into two sections:

  • Facilitators and barriers to health care—such as measures of health insurance coverage, having a usual source of care and primary care provider, and patient perceptions of need.
  • Health care utilization—such as measures of receipt of dental care, emergency care, potentially avoidable admissions, mental health care, and substance abuse treatment.

i As described in Chapter 1, Introduction and Methods, income and educational attainment are used to measure socioeconomic status in the NHDR. Unless specified, poor=below the Federal Poverty Level (FPL), near poor=100-199% of the FPL, middle=200-399% of the FPL, high=400% or more of the FPL. Go to measure specifications and data source descriptions for more information on income groups by data source.


Information about patient-provider communication is found in the section on patient centeredness in Chapter 2, Quality of Health Care. As in previous NHDRs, this chapter focuses on disparities in access to care related to race, ethnicity, and socioeconomic status in the general U.S. population. Disparities in access to care and patient-provider communication within specific priority populations are discussed in Chapter 4, Priority Populations. Analyses of changes over time and stratified analyses are also presented in this chapter.

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Facilitators and Barriers to Health Care

Facilitators and barriers to health care discussed in this section include health insurance, having a usual source of care (including having a usual source of ongoing care and a usual primary care provider), and patient perceptions of need. (Go to Tables 3.1a and 3.1b for a summary of findings related to all core measures on facilitators and barriers to health care.)

Health Insurance

Health insurance facilitates entry into the health care system. The uninsured are more likely to die early3 and have poor health status;4 the costs of early death and poor health among the uninsured total $65 billion to $130 billion.3 The financial burden of uninsurance is also great for uninsured individuals; almost 50% of personal bankruptcy filings are due to medical expenses.5 The uninsured report more problems getting care, are diagnosed at later disease stages, and get less therapeutic care.5, 6 They are sicker when hospitalized and more likely to die during their stay.6

Figure 3.1. Persons under age 65 with health insurance, by race (top left), ethnicity (top right), income (bottom left), and education (bottom right), 1999-2005

Trend line charts show percentage of persons under age 65 with health insurance. By Race: White: 1999, 85.4; 2000, 84.6; 2001, 85.1; 2002, 84.5; 2003, 84; 2004, 83.9; 2005, 84.1. Black: 1999, 80.7; 2000, 80.5; 2001, 81.2; 2002, 81.2; 2003, 81.6; 2004, 82.4; 2005, 81.6. Asian: 1999, 83.2; 2000, 82.4; 2001, 82.7; 2002, 82.6; 2003, 81.8; 2004, 83.5; 2005, 82.9. NHOPI: 1999, 75.6; 2000, 72.4; 2001, 86.3; 2002, 74.9; 2003, 88; 2004, 89.8; 2005, 80.4. AI/AN: 1999, 61.8; 2000, 61.6; 2001, 66.9; 2002, 60.9; 2003, 65; 2004, 65.4; 2005, 67.8. More than 1 Race: 1999, 85.5; 2000, 83.2; 2001, 83.4; 2002, 82.4; 2003, 84; 2004, 87.7; 2005, 83.5. By Ethnicity:  Non-Hispanic White: 1999, 87.9; 2000, 87.5; 2001, 88.2; 2002, 87.5; 2003, 88.1; 2004, 88; 2005, 88. Hispanic: 1999, 66; 2000, 64.4; 2001, 65; 2002, 66.1; 2003, 65.3; 2004, 65.6; 2005, 67.

Trend line charts show persons under age 65 with health insurance. By Income: High Income; 1999, 94.5; 2000, 94.1; 2001, 93.9; 2002, 93.4; 2003, 94.4; 2004, 94.1; 2005, 93.7. Middle Income: 1999, 86.4; 2000, 84.6; 2001, 85.1; 2002, 83.4; 2003, 84.4; 2004, 84.4; 2005, 84.3. Near Poor: 1999, 69.7; 2000, 69; 2001, 70.9; 2002, 71.3; 2003, 70.2; 2004, 71; 2005, 71.4. Poor: 1999, 66.2; 2000, 65.8; 2001, 66.9; 2002, 69.7; 2003, 68.9; 2004, 69; 2005, 69.4. By Education: Some College: 1999, 90.6; 2000, 90.1; 2001, 90.4; 2002, 89.4; 2003, 89.5; 2004, 89.3; 2005, 89.3. High School Grad: 1999, 82; 2000, 82; 2001, 82.6; 2002, 80.3; 2003, 80.6; 2004, 80.2; 2005, 79.7.  Less than High School: 1999, 65.8; 2000, 63.1; 2001, 62.9; 2002, 62.7; 2003, 60; 2004, 60.5; 2005, 59.9.

Key: AI/AN=American Indian or Alaska Native; NHOPI=Native Hawaiian or Other Pacific Islander.

Source: Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, National Center for Health Statistics, National Health Interview Survey (NHIS), 1999-2005.

Reference population: Analyses by race, ethnicity, and income performed for civilian noninstitutionalized persons under age 65. Analyses by education performed for civilian noninstitutionalized persons ages 25-64.

Note: NHIS respondents are asked about health insurance coverage at the time of interview; respondents are considered uninsured if they lack private health insurance, Medicare, Medicaid, State Children's Health Insurance Program (SCHIP), a State-sponsored health plan, other government-sponsored health plan, a military health plan, or if their only coverage is through the Indian Health Service. This measure reflects the percentage of survey respondents under age 65 who were covered by health insurance at the time of the interview.

  • From 1999 to 2005, the gap between Blacks and Whites in insurance coverage remained the same (Figure 3.1). In 2005 the proportion of persons with insurance was lower for Blacks than Whites (81.6% compared with 84.1%).
  • The gap between poor people and high income people increased during this period. In 2005, the proportion of persons with insurance was significantly lower for poor people than high income people (69.4% compared with 93.7%).
  • The gap between people with less than a high school education and people with some college increased. In 2005, the proportion of persons with insurance was almost one-third lower for people with less than a high school education than for people with some college (59.9% compared with 89.3%).
  • From 1999 to 2005, the rates of insurance worsened for Whites, high income persons, and persons of every education level. However, there were no significant changes in the rate of insurance for Blacks, Asians, American Indians and Alaska Natives (AI/ANs), non-Hispanic Whites, and Hispanics.

Racial and ethnic minorities are disproportionately of lower SES.7 To distinguish the effects of race, ethnicity, income, and education on health insurance coverage, this measure is stratified by income and education level.

Figure 3.2. Persons under age 65 with health insurance, by race (left) and ethnicity (right), stratified by income, 2005

Bar charts show persons under age 65 with health insurance by race and ethnicity, stratified by income. Poor: White, 67.1; Black, 75.7; Asian, 73; AI/AN, 57. Near Poor: White, 70.4; Black, 75.4; Asian, 71; AI/AN, 66.7. Middle Income: White, 84.6; Black, 84.1; Asian, 82.6. AI/AN, 65.3. High Income: White, 94.2; Black, 91.7; Asian, 90.2; AI/AN, 85.5.  Poor: Non-Hispanic White, 73.1; Hispanic, 58.8. Near Poor: Non-Hispanic White, 76; Hispanic, 58.8. Middle Income: Non-Hispanic White, 87.4; Hispanic, 71.3. High Income: Non-Hispanic White, 94.8; Hispanic, 86.4.

AI/AN=American Indian or Alaska Native.

Source: Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, National Center for Health Statistics, National Health Interview Survey (NHIS), 2005.

Reference population: Civilian noninstitutionalized persons under age 65.

Note: NHIS respondents are asked about health insurance coverage at the time of interview; respondents are considered uninsured if they lack private health insurance, public assistance, Medicare, Medicaid, State Children's Health Insurance Program (SCHIP), a State-sponsored health plan, other government-sponsored programs, a military health plan, or if their only coverage is through the Indian Health Service. This measure reflects the percentage of survey respondents under age 65 who were covered by health insurance at the time of the interview.

Figure 3.3. Persons under age 65 with health insurance, by race (left) and ethnicity (right), stratified by education, 2005

Bar charts show percentage of persons under age 65 with health insurance by race and ethnicity, stratified by education. Less than High School: White, 58.3; Black, 66.3; Asian, 69.8; AI/AN, 54.9. High School Grad: White, 80.8; Black, 76.9; Asian, 71.5. AI/AN, 54.2. Some College: White, 90.2; Black, 84.3; Asian, 88; AI/AN, 80.2. Less than High School: Non-Hispanic White, 70.5; Hispanic, 45.8. High School Grad: Non-Hispanic White, 83.5; Hispanic, 64.6. Some College: Non-Hispanic White, 91.4; Hispanic, 76.8.

Key: AI/AN=American Indian or Alaska Native.

Source: Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, National Center for Health Statistics, National Health Interview Survey (NHIS), 2005.

Reference population: Analyses by race, ethnicity, and income performed for civilian noninstitutionalized persons under age 65. Analyses by education performed for civilian noninstitutionalized persons ages 25-64.

Note: NHIS respondents are asked about health insurance coverage at the time of interview; respondents are considered uninsured if they lack private health insurance, public assistance, Medicare, Medicaid, State Children's Health Insurance program (SCHIP), a State-sponsored health plan, other government-sponsored programs, a military health plan, or if their only coverage is through the Indian Health Service. This measure reflects the percentage of survey respondents under age 65 who were covered by health insurance at the time of the interview.

  • SES explains some but not all of the differences in the health insurance coverage of racial and ethnic groups in persons under age 65 (Figures 3.2 and 3.3).
  • Hispanics of every income and education level were significantly less likely than their non-Hispanic peers to have health insurance.
  • Poor and near poor Blacks (75.7% and 75.4%) were significantly more likely than poor and near poor Whites (67.1% and 70.4%) to have health insurance.
  • Middle and high income AI/ANs were significantly less likely to have health insurance than middle and high income Whites (middle income—65.3% of AI/ANs versus 84.6% of Whites; high income—85.5% of AI/ANs versus 94.2% of Whites).
  • Among people with less than a high school education, Blacks (66.3%) and Asians (69.8%) were significantly more likely than Whites (58.3%) to have health insurance. However, among high school graduates, Blacks (76.9%) and Asians (71.5%) were less likely than Whites (80.8%) to have health insurance.
  • AI/ANs with a high school education were much less likely than Whites with a high school education to have health insurance (54.2% compared with 80.8%).
  • Blacks and AI/ANs with at least some college were less likely than Whites with some college to have health insurance (84.3% and 80.2%, respectively, compared with 90.2%).
  • No group has yet achieved the Healthy People 2010 target of 100% of Americans with health insurance.

Because uninsured persons often postpone seeking care, have difficulty obtaining care when they ultimately seek it, and must bear the full brunt of health care costs, prolonged periods of uninsurance can have a particularly serious impact on a person's health and stability. Over time, the cumulative consequences of being uninsured compound, resulting in a population at particular risk for suboptimal health care and health status.

Figure 3.4. Persons under age 65 uninsured all year, by race (top left), ethnicity (top right), income (bottom left), and education (bottom right), 2002-2004

Trend line charts show persons under age 65 uninsured all year. By Race: White: 2002, 13.4; 2003, 13.6; 2004, 13.9. Black: 2002, 13.6; 2003, 14.4; 2004, 15.3. Asian: 2002, 11.3; 2003, 14.2; 2004, 11.6. NHOPI: 2002, no data; 2003 no data; 2004, 11.6. AI/AN: 2002, 21.1; 2003, 20.9; 2004, 23.2. More than 1 Race: 2002, 11.9; 2003, 10.7; 2004, 16.1. By Ethnicity: Non Hispanic White: 2002, 10.1; 2003, 10.3; 2004, 10.3. Hispanic: 2002, 28.2; 2003, 28; 2004, 28.9. By Income: Poor: 2002, 24; 2003, 23.9; 2004, 25. Near Poor: 2002, 24.9; 2003, 24.8; 2004, 23.8. Middle Income: 2002, 15.3; 2003, 12.7; 2004, 13.7. High Income: 2002, 5.2; 2003, 6.3; 2004, 6. By Education: Less than High School: 2002, 30.2; 2003, 30.7; 2004, 31.8. High School Grad: 2002, 16.8; 2003, 18.3; 2004, 18.3. Some College: 2002, 9; 2003, 9.7; 2004, 10.2.

Key: NHOPI= Native Hawaiian or Other Pacific Islander, AI/AN=American Indian or Alaska Native.

Source: Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality, Medical Expenditure Panel Survey, 2002-2004.

Reference population: Analyses by race, ethnicity, and income performed for civilian noninstitutionalized persons under age 65. Analyses by education performed for civilian noninstitutionalized persons ages 18-64.

Note: Beginning in 2002, survey respondents could report more than one race. Estimates for racial groups other than Whites and Blacks are significantly affected by this change. Hence data for these groups are not directly comparable with earlier years and are not shown here. Racial categories shown here exclude multiple race individuals.

  • From 2002 to 2004, the gap in uninsured persons between Blacks and Whites remained the same. However, the proportion of persons uninsured all year was still higher for Blacks than Whites in 2004 (15.3% compared with 13.9%).
  • From 2002 to 2004, the gap in uninsured persons between Hispanics and non-Hispanic Whites decreased. However, the proportion of persons uninsured all year was still almost three times higher for Hispanics than for non-Hispanic Whites in 2004 (28.9% compared with 10.3%).
  • From 2002 to 2004, the gap in uninsured persons between poor people and high income people remained the same. The proportion of persons uninsured all year was still over four times higher for poor people than for high income people in 2004 (25% compared with 6%).
  • From 2002 to 2004, the gap in uninsured persons between people with less than a high school education and people with some college remained the same. The proportion of persons uninsured all year increased for people with some college (from 8.3% to 10.2%). However, people with less than a high school education remained over three times more likely than people with some college to be uninsured all year (31.8% compared with 10.2%).

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Usual Source of Care

Persons with a usual source of care (a facility where one regularly receives care) experience improved health outcomes and reduced disparities (smaller differences between groups)8 and costs,9 yet over 40 million Americans do not have a specific source of ongoing care.10

Specific Source of Ongoing Care

Higher costs, poorer outcomes, and greater disparities (larger differences between groups) are observed among individuals without a usual source of care.11

Figure 3.5. Persons with a specific source of ongoing care, by race (top left), ethnicity (top right), income (bottom left), and education (bottom right), 1999-2005

Trend line charts show percentage of persons with a specific source of ongoing care. By Race: White: 1999, 87.1; 2000, 87.8; 2001, 88.6; 2002, 88.4; 2003, 88.1; 2004, 86.8; 2005, 87.1. Black: 1999, 85.5; 2000, 86.1; 2001, 88.3; 2002, 86.8; 2003, 86.8; 2004, 86.3; 2005, 85.7.  Asian: 1999, 82.1; 2000, 84.6; 2001, 86.7; 2002, 82.1; 2003, 85.7; 2004, 85.7; 2005, 85.8. AI/AN: 1999, 83.3; 2000, 86.4; 2001, 88.8; 2002, 87; 2003, 85.2; 2004, 83.3; 2005, 83.3. More than 1 Race: 1999, 86.4; 2000, 84.7; 2001, 84.9; 2002, 85; 2003, 87.5; 2004, 87.9; 2005, 87.6.  By Ethnicity: Non-Hispanic White: 1999, 88.4; 2000, 89.4; 2001, 90.4; 2002, 90.2; 2003, 90.3; 2004, 89.2; 2005, 89.4. Hispanic: 1999, 77.3; 2000, 75.8; 2001, 76.7; 2002, 76.8; 2003, 78; 2004, 75.9; 2005, 76.9.

Trend line charts show percentage of persons with a specific source of ongoing care. By Income: High Income: 1999, 91; 2000, 91.9; 2001, 93.3; 2002, 92.3; 2003, 92.9; 2004, 92.1, 2005, 92.3, Middle Income, 1999, 87.5, 2000, 88.1, 2001, 88.9, 2002, 88.5, 2003, 88.1, 2004, 87.6; 2005, 87.2. Near Poor: 1999, 80.3; 2000, 80.5; 2001, 82; 2002, 81.8; 2003, 82.1; 2004, 80.9; 2005, 81.4. Poor: 1999, 77.7; 2000, 78.9; 2001, 78.3; 2002, 79.6; 2003, 81.1; 2004, 77.1; 2005, 78.1. By Education: Some College: 1999, 88.7; 2000, 89.9; 2001, 91; 2002, 90.1; 2003, 90.9; 2004, 89.5; 2005, 89.9; High School Grad: 1999, 84.5; 2000, 85.2; 2001, 87.1; 2002, 86.7; 2003, 85.5; 2004, 85.3; 2005, 85. Less than High School: 1999, 77.4; 2000, 77.1; 2001, 77.4; 2002, 77.6; 2003, 77.6; 2004, 74.1; 2005, 74.9.

Key: AI/AN=American Indian or Alaska Native.

Source: Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, National Center for Health Statistics, National Health Interview Survey, 1999-2005.

Reference population: Analyses by race, ethnicity, and income performed for civilian noninstitutionalized persons of all ages. Analyses by education were performed for civilian noninstitutionalized persons age 25 and over only.

Note: Measure is age adjusted. Data were insufficient for this analysis for Native Hawaiians or Other Pacific Islanders.

  • From 1999 to 2005, the gap in usual source of care between Hispanics and non-Hispanic Whites increased (Figure 3.5). In 2005, the proportion of persons with a specific source of ongoing care was significantly lower for Hispanics than for non-Hispanic Whites (76.9% compared with 89.4%).
  • During this period, the gap between poor people and high income people increased. In 2005, the proportion of persons with a specific source of ongoing care was significantly lower for poor people than for high income people (78.1% compared with 92.3%).
  • No group has yet achieved the Healthy People 2010 target of 96% of Americans with a specific source of ongoing care.

Usual Primary Care Provider

Having a usual primary care provider (a doctor or nurse from whom one regularly receives care) is associated with patients' greater trust in their provider12 and with good patient-provider communication, which, in turn, increases the likelihood that patients receive appropriate care.13 By learning about patients' diverse health care needs over time, a usual primary care provider can coordinate care (e.g., visits to specialists) to better meet patients' needs.14 Indeed, having a usual primary care provider correlates with receipt of higher quality care.15, 16

Figure 3.6. Persons who have a usual primary care provider, by race (top left), ethnicity (top right), income (bottom left), and education (bottom right), 2002-2004

Trend line charts show percentage of persons who have a usual primary care provider. By Race: Total: 2002, 77.3; 2003, 77.6; 2004, 77.4. White: 2002, 78.1; 2003, 78.5; 2004, 78.1. Black: 2002, 74.9; 2003, 73.4; 2004, 73.3. Asian: 2002, 69.3; 2003, 71.3; 2004, 75.2. AI/AN: 2002, 73.1; 2003, 79; 2004, 78.5. More than 1 Race: 2002, 75.7; 2003, 78.6; 2004, 77.9. By Ethnicity: Non-Hispanic White: 2002, 80.9; 2003, 81.7; 2004, 80.7. Hispanic: 2002, 63.5; 2003, 63; 2004, 65.3. By Income: Poor: 2002, 70.4; 2003, 69.3; 2004, 72.2. Near Poor: 2002, 71.7; 2003, 72.7; 2004, 73.6. Middle Income: 2002, 73.6; 2003, 78; 2004, 76.8. High Income: 2002, 81.8; 2003, 82.3; 2004, 81.4. By Education: Less than High School: 2002, 70; 2003, 68.2; 2004, 67.3. High School: 2002, 73.8; 2003, 73.9; 2004, 73.3.  Some College: 2002, 76; 2003, 76.6; 004, 76.1.

Key: AI/AN=American Indian or Alaska Native.

Source: Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality, Medical Expenditure Panel Survey, 2002-2004.

Reference population: Analyses by race, ethnicity, and income performed for civilian noninstitutionalized persons of all ages. Analyses by education performed for civilian noninstitutionalized persons age 18 and over.

Note: A usual primary care provider is defined as the source of care that a person usually goes to for new health problems, preventive health care, and referrals to other health professionals. Data are age adjusted. Data were insufficient for this analysis for Native Hawaiians and Other Pacific Islanders.

  • From 2002 to 2004, the gap between Asians and Whites in having a usual primary health care provider decreased, and by 2004 this disparity was eliminated (Figure 3.6). The proportion of Asians with a usual primary care provider improved significantly (from 69.3% to 75.2%).
  • The gap between Hispanics and non-Hispanic Whites remained the same. In 2004, the proportion of persons with a usual primary care provider was significantly lower for Hispanics than for non-Hispanic Whites (65.3% compared with 80.7%).
  • The gap between poor people and high income people remained the same. In 2004, the proportion of persons with a usual primary care provider was significantly lower for poor people than for high income people (72.2% compared with 81.4%).
  • The gap between people with less than a high school education and people with some college remained the same. In 2004, the proportion of persons with a usual primary care provider was significantly lower for people with less than a high school education than for people with some college (67.3% compared with 76.1%).
  • No group has yet achieved the Healthy People 2010 target of 85% of Americans with a usual primary care provider.

Each year, multivariate analyses are conducted in support of the NHDR to identify the independent effects of race, ethnicity, and SES on access to health care. Past reports have listed some of these findings. Figure 3.7 shows the results of a multivariate model for one access measure: persons who have a usual primary care provider. Adjusted odds ratios are shown to quantify the relative magnitude of disparities after controlling for a number of confounding factors.

Figure 3.7. Persons ages 18-64 who have a usual primary care provider: Adjusted odds ratios, 2002, 2003, and 2004

Bar chart shows persons ages 18-64 who have a usual primary care provider. No Insurance, 0.28; Private Insurance, 1.00; Less than High School, 0.98; High School Grad, 0.99; Some College, 1.00; Poor, 0.65; Near Poor, 0.70; Middle Income, 0.84; High Income, 1.00; Hispanic, 0.63; Non-Hispanic White, 1.00; Asian, 0.78; Black, 0.88; White, 1.00.

Source: Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality, Medical Expenditure Panel Survey, 2002, 2003, and 2004.

Reference population: Civilian noninstitutionalized population ages 18-64.

Note: Adjusted odds ratios are calculated from logistic regression models controlling for race, ethnicity, income, education, age, gender, insurance, and residence location. White, non-Hispanic White, high income, and some college are reference groups with odds ratio=1; odds ratios <1 indicate a group is less likely to receive service than the reference group. For example, compared with individuals with private insurance, individuals with no insurance had 0.28 times the odds of reporting a usual primary care provider after controlling for other factors. Data were insufficient for this analysis for Native Hawaiians or Other Pacific Islanders and for American Indians and Alaska Natives.

  • For 2002-2004, in multivariate models controlling for race, ethnicity, income, education, age, gender, insurance, and residence location, compared with Whites, Blacks had 0.88 times the odds and Asians had 0.78 times the odds of having a usual primary care provider.
  • In this multivariate model, compared with non-Hispanic Whites, Hispanics had 0.63 times the odds of having a usual primary care provider.
  • Compared with high income individuals, poor individuals had 0.65 times the odds of having a primary care provider in this multivariate model.
  • In this multivariate model, individuals with no health insurance had 0.28 times the odds of having a usual primary care provider compared with individuals with private insurance.

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Patient Perceptions of Need

Patient perceptions of need include perceived difficulties or delays in obtaining care and problems getting care as soon as it is wanted. Although patients may not always be able to assess their need for care, problems getting care when patients perceive that they are ill or injured likely reflect significant barriers to care.

Figure 3.8. People who were unable to receive or delayed in receiving needed medical care, dental care, or prescription medicines, by income and insurance status, 2004

Bar chart shows percentage of people who were unable to receive or delayed in receiving needed medical care, dental care, or prescription medicines, by income and insurance status. Total, 10.9; Poor, 16.4; Near Poor, 14; Middle Income, 11.1; High Income, 7.4; Uninsured, 18.6; Public insurance only, 14.2; Any private insurance, 9.

Source: Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality, Medical Expenditure Panel Survey, 2004.

Denominator: Analyses by income performed for civilian noninstitutionalized persons, all ages. Analyses by education performed for civilian noninstitutionalized persons age 18 and over.

  • The proportion of people who were unable to receive or delayed in receiving needed medical care, dental care, or prescription medicines was significantly higher for poor (16.5%), near poor (14.1%), and middle income (11.2%) people than for high income people (7.4%; Figure 3.8).
  • The proportion of people who were unable to receive or delayed in receiving needed medical care, dental care, or prescription medicines was two times higher for people with no health insurance than for people with private insurance (18.7% compared with 9.1%).
Chapter 3 (continued): Health Care Utilization Chapter 2 (continued): References

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