Health Care Utilization
Health Care Utilization
John is a Medicaid patient suffering from high blood pressure whose father recently had a heart attack. His recent search for a Medicaid provider within his area has left him on the outskirts of accessible healthcare and has decreased his utilization. His closest primary care provider is forty minutes away and he has to make his appointment two weeks in advance.
According to the model described in the health care services utilization primary care physicians are in place to handle preventative care. Due to John’s current condition of hypertension, he is not able to focus on future preventative care. His current ongoing condition is one of the factors working against him.
Another factor that is affecting John’s ability to locate a primary care physician is the lack of medical students who are choosing primary care as a specialty. While this may not seem like a mitigating factor, it is. This is why the provider John would like to see has a long line of patients in the office everyday and why appointments must be made in advance. The current state of the healthcare industry is targeted to specialty practice. The truth is primary care practitioners are paid substantially less than specialty physicians. The difference in pay comes from the way the fee schedule is set up by insurance companies. The debt accumulated during medical school is not offset by the pay from work after medical school. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics family practitioners work longer hours; they are often on call and work weekends.
In the public health care industry most physicians that are on call and work weekends are in place only for emergencies. The primary care physicians John desires to see if not one of these providers. This is a hindrance for him also. Depending on his schedule, he may or may not be able to access a physician during the week.
John’s lack of...
References: Anderson, R.M. (1995). Health status and health care utilization. Chapter 4, pgs 55-73.
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