Access to Public Health
In a Culture of Health, public health systems are core resources for communities, monitoring population health, identifying problems, informing and educating, and developing policies that protect residents.
In 2014, the National Longitudinal Survey of Public Health Systems discovered that highly integrated public health systems report 15% lower use of public health resources, as well as reductions in death due to chronic disease. Factors and initiatives that support the establishment and success of such a system include:
- Local governance structures, including a board of health, in place
- Adherence to the Affordable Care Act’s hospital community benefit provisions
- Creation of a minimum package of public health services
Access to Stable Health Insurance
Health insurance is a cornerstone of access to health care. When insured, patients are more likely and able to see their doctors for annual exams and wellness visits, potentially preventing the need for more intensive treatment down the line.
In 2015, using the American Life Panel, the RAND Corporation tracked changes in coverage among adults, as well as in source of coverage, including:
- Employer Sponsored Insurance
- Marketplace insurance
- Private non-group insurance
When individuals do not have stable health insurance, they may experience gaps or delays in obtaining health services. Of those experiencing changes, losing Medicaid is particularly common.
Access to Mental Health Services
Untreated mental health and substance abuse issues can lead to serious long-term health, social, and economic consequences. In a Culture of Health, employers, schools, and the justice system all play a part in directing people toward the mental health treatment they need.
The National Survey on Drug Use and Health tracks the prevalence and patterns of substance abuse and mental disorders, making such resources available to the public as:
- State Reports
- Substate/Metro Reports
- First Findings Reports
- Methodology & Questionnaires
National data from 2013 shows that less than half of those with mental health and substance abuse needs (39%) are getting treatment.
Routine Dental Care
Preventive dental services are important to overall health, including cardiovascular health. Poor oral health can affect diet, physical health, and even job searches, yet availability of dental providers is often uneven by geography and income levels.
The Medical Expenditure Panel Survey illuminates numerous data around dental health in America, including:
- State-level Dental Expenditures
- Delays in Receiving Dental Care
- Dental Coverage among Children
In 2012, the survey discovered significant disparities between high income individuals and those living beneath the federal poverty line when it comes to seeking routine dental care.