Equitable Health Care Access

Definition

Access to high quality, affordable and culturally appropriate preventive and acute clinical care that takes into consideration the social conditions that influence an individual’s health. Access to health care empowers individuals to actively engage in preventive and health-promoting activities and provides a safety net in the unfortunate event of major health crises.

Disparities

  • 37% of Latinos and 24% of African Americans report not having access to a usual source of care, compared to 18% of whites.¹
  • Only 64% of African Americans and 61% of Latinos identify a physician’s office as their usual source of care.
  • African Americans and Latinos are less likely to receive the influenza vaccine.

Connection Across Determinants

Disabilities:

  • Of 256 specialty practices, 22% could not accommodate disabled patient, 4% were in inaccessible facilities, 18% could not transfer a patient from wheelchair to table, and only 9% used height-adjustable tables.²
  • Women with disabilities have higher rates of breast cancer.
  • Three out of five people with serious mental illness die 25 years earlier as a result of chronic disease complications.

Sexuality:

  • Members of the LGBT community are more likely than their heterosexual counterparts to experience difficulty accessing health care.³
  • MSM (Men who have sex with men) account for nearly half of all people living with HIV in the United States, despite making up approximately 2% of the general population.
  • Compared to heterosexual women, lesbians are more likely to be overweight or obese.
  • LGBTQ individuals are approximately twice as likely to smoke as the general population.

  1. Goodell S, Escarce J. Racial and Ethnic Disparities in Access to and Quality of Health Care. http://www.rwjf.org/content/dam/farm/reports/issue_briefs/2007/rwjf17860. Accessed June 21, 2017.
  2. Lagu T, Hannon N, Rothberg M, et al. Access to Subspecialty Care for Patients with Mobility Impairment. https://dredf.org/wp-content/uploads/2015/04/Lagu-et-al-Annals-3-19-2013.pdf. Accessed June 21, 2017.
  3. Ard K, Makadon. Improving the Health Care of Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, and Transgender People: Understanding and Eliminating Health Disparities. https://www.lgbthealtheducation.org/wp-content/uploads/Improving-the-Health-of-LGBT-People.pdf. Accessed June 30, 2017.