3112.0 Reducing Health Disparities: Improving Access to Care

Monday, November 5, 2007: 10:30 AM
• The American Academy of Pediatrics recommends that all children have access to health care in a medical home model in which care is timely, comprehensive, coordinated, culturally sensitive, and family centered. Barriers to accessing care of this quality may lead to preventable emergency room utilization for acute care, worsened health status, poor control of chronic conditions, and inadequate access to specialists when needed. In this presentation, we will discuss some of the specific reasons for excessive use of hospital emergency rooms for non-urgent care, especially by children and families in poverty, while acknowledging the challenges to systematically gathering this kind of information. An innovative program to enhance access to pediatric subspecialty care will be described, and the impact of distance to travel on adherence to specialist appointments will be discussed. This leads to a description of a strategy to enhance access to transportation services as a way to improve health outcomes for people with chronic diseases. Enhancing access to transportation services emerges as an important element to addressing health disparities. The use of Geographic Information System (GIS) data to more discretely target medically underserved populations for intervention will also be discussed. Finally, we will describe a program providing patient navigation services to help high-risk patients receive necessary health screening and preventive care.
Session Objectives: At the end of this session, participants will be better able to: • Discuss the practice and health system factors that contribute to the overuse of pediatric emergency services for primary care, particularly among families in poverty • Identify the relationship between distance and travel as both factors and variables affecting homeless families’ access to specialty care • Discuss public transit policy and planning impacts on health care access to prevent hospitalization for chronic disease • Analyze how the spatial access to health care is associated with socio-demographic characteristics and health care needs of the population • Identify successful patient navigation strategies

10:30 AM
Accessing care: Right time - right place
Amy Charnley Paulson, BS, BSBA, Frances D. Butterfoss, PhD, MSEd, Myra L. Barnes, MPH, Hillary Marotta, MA, Susan L. Triggs, MPH, RN and Erik Schobitz, MD
10:45 AM
Distance to travel affects specialty care access among homeless families
Ariel L. Sarmiento, MPH, Delaney Gracy, MD, MPH(c), Roy Grant, MA and Alan Shapiro, MD
11:30 AM
Patient navigation at work
Elizabeth Calhoun, PhD

See individual abstracts for presenting author's disclosure statement and author's information.

Organized by: Community Health Planning and Policy Development
Endorsed by: Women's Caucus, Socialist Caucus, Community Health Workers SPIG, APHA-Committee on Women's Rights, Asian Pacific Islander Caucus of APHA

CE Credits: CME, Health Education (CHES), Nursing