0

The full content of Annals is available to subscribers

Subscribe/Learn More  >
In the Balance |

Access to Care Is the Centerpiece in the Elimination of Socioeconomic Disparities in Health

Dennis P. Andrulis, PhD, MPH
[+] Article and Author Information

From the New York Academy of Medicine, New York, New York. For the current author address, see end of text. Requests for Reprints: Dennis Andrulis, PhD, MPH, New York Academy of Medicine, 1216 Fifth Avenue, New York, NY 10029.


Copyright ©2004 by the American College of Physicians


Ann Intern Med. 1998;129(5):412-416. doi:10.7326/0003-4819-129-5-199809010-00012
Text Size: A A A

Many health care professionals have sustained an almost single-minded conviction that disparities in access to health care across socioeconomic groups are the key reason for the major discrepancies in health status between wealthy persons and poor persons. Others, however, have argued that a host of factors work to create major impediments and that reducing or eliminating financial barriers to health care in particular will do little to reduce discrepancies in health status. This paper, while acknowledging the spectrum of contributing factors, argues that the elimination of financially based differences in access is central to any effort to create equity in outcomes across socioeconomic groups. Through selected review of the many studies on health insurance, access, outcomes, and socioeconomic status, it establishes that a core links affected populations, their difficulty in financing health care, and the threat to their well-being. In so doing, it cites findings that strongly associate lack of insurance (especially for persons who live in poverty), inability to obtain services, and adverse health outcomes. It also uses the example of Medicaid and other coverage for HIV-infected persons in particular as an important positive instance in which leveling the discrepancies in health care across socioeconomic groups can move toward creating quality in access and outcomes. The competitive pressures in today's health care environment threaten to drive socioeconomic groups further apart, especially insured and uninsured persons. However, the recent enactment of state actions, especially the State Child Health Insurance Program, represent powerful examples of health insurance expansion that have lessons for policymakers at all levels for the monitoring and reduction of socioeconomic disparities.

Figures

Tables

References

Letters

NOTE:
Citing articles are presented as examples only. In non-demo SCM6 implementation, integration with CrossRef’s "Cited By" API will populate this tab (http://www.crossref.org/citedby.html).

Comments

Submit a Comment
Submit a Comment

Summary for Patients

Clinical Slide Sets

Terms of Use

The In the Clinic® slide sets are owned and copyrighted by the American College of Physicians (ACP). All text, graphics, trademarks, and other intellectual property incorporated into the slide sets remain the sole and exclusive property of the ACP. The slide sets may be used only by the person who downloads or purchases them and only for the purpose of presenting them during not-for-profit educational activities. Users may incorporate the entire slide set or selected individual slides into their own teaching presentations but may not alter the content of the slides in any way or remove the ACP copyright notice. Users may make print copies for use as hand-outs for the audience the user is personally addressing but may not otherwise reproduce or distribute the slides by any means or media, including but not limited to sending them as e-mail attachments, posting them on Internet or Intranet sites, publishing them in meeting proceedings, or making them available for sale or distribution in any unauthorized form, without the express written permission of the ACP. Unauthorized use of the In the Clinic slide sets will constitute copyright infringement.

Toolkit

Buy Now

to gain full access to the content and tools.

Want to Subscribe?

Learn more about subscription options

Advertisement
Related Articles
Journal Club
Topic Collections
Forgot your password?
Enter your username and email address. We'll send you a reminder to the email address on record.
(Required)
(Required)