Access to Health Care Part 3: Older Adults
This report examines access to health care for elderly adults, 65 years of age and over in the United States for 1993. Access indicators include having a regular source of care, place of care, main reason for no usual source of care, unmet health care needs, and use of clinical and preventive services. Sociodemographic characteristics examined include sex, age, race, place of residence, income, health status, and health insurance coverage.
Ninety-one percent of elderly persons with a regular source of care went to a private doctor as their usual place of care. Overall only 1 percent of the elderly named the emergency room as their regular place of care. Females were more likely to have a private doctor as their regular source of care than were males. Only 78 percent of black persons reported a private doctor as their regular source of care compared with 93 percent of white persons with a regular source of care.
The most common reason for having no usual source of care was "Do not need doctor" given by 47 percent of the elderly. Twenty-three percent of this group selected a response indicating lack of availability, knowledge, or inconvenience of care. Other reasons given for lack of a regular source of care were "Do not trust doctor," 7 percent; and "No insurance/can't afford," 7 percent. Ten percent of the respondents fell into the "other reason" category.
Among the elderly, type of health insurance coverage was related to receiving certain clinical and preventive services, including routine physical examinations. Older people with Medicare and private or Medicare and public coverage were more likely to have had their blood pressure checked in the 3 months prior to interview, and more likely to have had a routine checkup within the year prior to interview than those persons with Medicare only coverage. Seventy-three percent of elderly with Medicare and private or Medicare and public coverage had a routine checkup less than a year prior to interview compared with 62 percent for those persons with Medicare only.
Keywords: Access to care, usual source of care, reason for no usual source of care, unmet need, clinical and preventive services, health insurance
This report can be purchased from the Government Printing Office (GPO). GPO stock number 017-022-01381-9, price: $3.75
This page last reviewed
January 11, 2007