Uninsured can't access specialty services

Sep 11, 2007

A U.S. study suggested uninsured patients at community health centers often encounter problems when seeking specialty services outside such centers.

Harvard Medical School Associate Professor Bruce Landon and colleagues determined Medicaid patients also face such obstacles, although to a lesser extent, while insured/Medicare patients have a far easier time accessing needed services.

"Often times, people think that community health centers act as a kind of safety net for the uninsured but these findings present a far more problematic picture," said the study's lead author, research fellow Nakela Cook.

Landon said community health centers work well for primary care services provided on site.

"The breakdown," he said, "occurs when an uninsured patient needs to see a specialist or needs some sort of high-tech service or to be admitted to a hospital."

U.S. community health centers serve approximately 15 million people, most of whom have low incomes and either lack insurance or rely on programs such as Medicaid.

The study is reported in the journal Health Affairs.

Copyright 2007 by United Press International

Explore further: AMA: Physicians driving the slowing of health care costs

Related Stories

Robots can recover from damage in minutes (w/ Video)

1 hour ago

Robots will one day provide tremendous benefits to society, such as in search and rescue missions and putting out forest fires—but not until they can learn to keep working if they become damaged.

Recommended for you

Footpaths and parks support active school commute

May 29, 2015

While it probably won't make the idea of attending school more appealing social scientists say different infrastructure and behaviour change programs are key to encouraging young people to take a more active ...

Food barometer measures a population’'s eating habits

May 29, 2015

A survey by Taylor's-Toulouse University Centre (TTUC) is collecting data on the food habits of individuals and how their choices are related to modernisation and other social factors. Results show that almost ...

User comments : 0

Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.