Healthcare Care Access Disparities in Appalachia

Powerful Essays
Topics: Health care
Health Care Access and Disparities within the Appalachian Region
Sherri Drake
PIMA Medical Institute
Health Care Access and Disparities within the Appalachian Region (NIH, 2002-2006) Health disparities are defined as “differences in the incidence, prevalence, mortality, and burden of diseases and other adverse health conditions that exist among specific population groups in the United States”. Health care access is the ability of a person to receive health care services as a function of access to medical personnel, supplies and the ability to pay for those services. The Appalachian region consists of thirteen states and 420 counties, in which the entire state of West Virginia is in Appalachia, along with the mountainous portions of Alabama, Mississippi, Georgia, South Carolina, North Carolina, Tennessee, Kentucky, Virginia, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Maryland and New York. According to Borak (2012) the Appalachian region of the U.S. has lower income levels, poor educational achievement, and worse overall health than the U.S population in general. Exploring the mortality, socioeconomic conditions, behavioral risks and medical care resources are serious concerns within the Appalachian region and is the focus of this discussion. The Appalachian Regional Commission (ARC) was created in the mid 1960’s with the goal of the commission to develop a comprehensive program for economic development in the Appalachian region. The ARC reported 33% of Appalachians lived in poverty and the per capita income was 23% less than the U.S. average in the 1960’s. Some improvements have been made and the ARC (2010) reported 2008 results of a decrease to 18% of people living in poverty with a 20% per capita income less than the U.S. average. Those results indicate a decrease in the percent of poverty in the region as a whole, but disparities remain in the subregions. The ARC will continue to be instrumental in implementing policy and programs to help decrease the gap within the



References: Appleby, J., & Kaiser Health News. (2012, October 24). Seven Factors Driving Up Your Health Care Costs. Retrieved from PBS Newshour: www.pbs.org/newshour/rundown/2012/10/seven-factors-driving-your-health-care-costs.html ARC ARC. (2013, August 18). Appalachian Regional Commission. Retrieved from Appalachian Regioanl Commission: http://www.arc.gov/index.asp Baldwin, F Blakeney, A. B. (2006). A Handbook to Appalachia: An Introduction to the Region. In G. T. Edwards, A Handbook to Appalachia: An Introduction to the Region (pp. 100-118). Knoxville: University of Tennessee press. Borak, J. M., Salipante-Zaidel, C., Slade, M. D., & Fields, C. A. (2012). Mortality Disparities in Appalachia Reassessment of Major Risk Factors. American College of Occupational and Environmental Medicine, 146-156. Halverson, J. A., Ma, L., & Harner, E. J. (2004). An Analysis of Disparities in Health Status and Access to Health Care in the Appalachian Region. Washington, D.C.: Appalachian Regional Commission. HHS . (2013, August 1). Affordable Care Act. Retrieved from U.S. Department of Health and Human Services: http://www.hhs.gov/opa/affordable-care-act/index.html NIH Squire, J. (2012, December 7). A Short Study of Appalachian Culture. Retrieved from SlashDocs: http://www.slashdocs.com/muphys/a-short-study-of-appalachian-culture.html The Daily Briefing

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