Providing Insights that Contribute to Better Health Policy
Insurance Coverage & Costs Access to Care Uninsured and Low-Income Racial/Ethnic Disparities Safety Net Providers Community Health Centers Hospitals Physicians Insured People Quality & Care Delivery Health Care Markets Issue Briefs Data Bulletins Research Briefs Policy Analyses Community Reports Journal Articles Other Publications Surveys Site Visits Design and Methods Data Files
Availability of Safety Net Providers and Access to Care of Uninsured Persons
Shorter distances to the nearest safety net provider increase access to care for the uninsured. Expanding the safety net-establishing new community health centers, opening new public hospitals and subsidizing more private hospitals that provide care to the uninsured-would increase the number of people that live near a safety net provider and, therefore, increase their access to care. However, the improvements in access by being closer to a safety net provider are relatively modest when comparing the uninsured to those with Medicaid or private insurance coverage. The results indicate that even when the uninsured live near a safety net provider, there are still considerable disparities in their access to care compared with people with insurance.
Free access to this article is available at the Health
Services Research Web site.