ERIC Number: EJ801822
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2008
Abstractor: As Provided
Reference Count: 41
Access to Specialty Health Care for Rural American Indians in Two States
Baldwin, Laura-Mae; Hollow, Walter B.; Casey, Susan; Hart, L. Gary; Larson, Eric H.; Moore, Kelly; Lewis, Ervin; Andrilla, C. Holly A.; Grossman, David C.
Journal of Rural Health, v24 n3 p269-278 Sum 2008
Context: The Indian Health Service (IHS), whose per capita expenditure for American Indian and Alaska Native (AI/AN) health services is about half that of the US civilian population, is the only source of health care funding for many rural AI/ANs. Specialty services, largely funded through contracts with outside practitioners, may be limited by low IHS funding levels. Purpose: To examine specialty service access among rural Indian populations in two states. Methods: A 31-item mail survey addressing perceived access to specialty physicians, barriers to access, and access to non-physician clinical services was sent to 106 primary care providers in rural Indian health clinics in Montana and New Mexico (overall response rate 60.4%) and 95 primary care providers in rural non-Indian clinics within 25 miles of the Indian clinics (overall response rate 57.9%). Findings: Substantial proportions of rural Indian clinic providers in both states reported fair or poor non-emergent specialty service access for their patients. Montana's rural Indian clinic providers reported poorer patient access to specialty care than rural non-Indian clinic providers, while New Mexico's rural Indian and non-Indian providers reported comparable access. Indian clinic providers in both states most frequently cited financial barriers to specialty care. Indian clinic providers reported better access to most non-physician services than non-Indian clinic providers. Conclusions: Reported limitations in specialty care access for rural Indian clinic patients appear to be influenced by financial constraints. Health care systems factors may play a role in perceived differences in specialty access between rural Indian and non-Indian clinic patients.
Descriptors: Access to Health Care, American Indians, Alaska Natives, Health Services, Specialists, Mail Surveys, Rural Areas, Financial Problems
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Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Research
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Location: Montana; New Mexico