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Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2017, 14(6), 573; doi:10.3390/ijerph14060573

Socioeconomic, Geospatial, and Geopolitical Disparities in Access to Health Care in the US 2011–2015

Department of Health Promotion and Community Health Sciences, School of Public Health, Texas A&M University, College Station, TX 77846, USA
Received: 30 March 2017 / Revised: 13 May 2017 / Accepted: 23 May 2017 / Published: 29 May 2017
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Aging and Health Promotion)
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Abstract

Individuals forgoing needed medical care due to barriers associated with cost are at risk of missing needed care that may be necessary for the prevention or maintenance of a chronic condition among other things. Thus, continued monitoring of factors associated with forgone medical care, especially among vulnerable populations, is critical. National survey data (2011–2015) for non-institutionalized adults residing in the USA were utilized to assess forgone medical care, defined as not seeking medical care when the individual thought it was necessary because of cost in the past 12 months. Logistic regression was used to predict forgone medical care vs. sought medical care. Racial/ethnic minority working-age adults, those with lower incomes, those with lower educations, those residing in the South, and those residing in states that failed to participate in Medicaid Expansion in 2014 were more likely (p < 0.01) to forgo medical care due to cost in the past year. Policy makers seeking to reduce barriers to forgone medical care can use this information to tailor their efforts (e.g., mechanisms targeted to bridge gaps in access to care) to those most at-risk and to consider state-level policy decisions that may impact access to care. View Full-Text
Keywords: health disparities; environmental and social predictors; place-based disparities; access to care health disparities; environmental and social predictors; place-based disparities; access to care
This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited. (CC BY 4.0).

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Towne Jr., S.D. Socioeconomic, Geospatial, and Geopolitical Disparities in Access to Health Care in the US 2011–2015. Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2017, 14, 573.

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