250322 Geographic Disparities in Access to Healthcare by Cardiovascular Disease and Cancer Patients in Mississippi

Tuesday, November 1, 2011: 3:30 PM

Daniel Sarpong, PhD , RTRN - Data and Technology Coordinating Center, Jackson State University, Jackson, MS
Cardiovascular disease (CVD) and cancer are the number 1 and 2 killers of Americans and Mississippi (MS) ranks first and fifth in the nation for CVD and cancer mortality, respectively. Lack of insurance coverage and other barriers to health care access may contribute to the economic burden of CVD and cancer in the US. Availability and access to trained practitioners by patients is one barrier to healthcare that has received little or no attention. The need to address this barrier is especially timely in this era of healthcare reform. Objectives: To examine disparities in CVD and cancer mortality in MS relative to physicians, board certified cardiologists and medical oncologists. Methods: Sources of secondary data were: U.S. Census, American Heart Association, American Cancer Society, National Cancer Institute, American Board of Medical Specialists Directory of Board Certified Medical Specialists (2004 edition), Physician Characteristics and Distribution in the U.S. (2002 edition) and Mississippi State Department of Health. Statistical analyses performed were: descriptive statistics, correlation analysis and Kruskal-Wallis. Rates were computed per 100,000 persons. Results: Rate of cardiologists in the 9 MS health districts was: 1) positively correlated with that of physicians (p<0.001) and median income (p=0.0072); and 2) negatively correlated with total CVD mortality (p=0.0159). Approximately 77% and 80% of counties had neither cardiologists nor medical oncologists, respectively. Only one county ( 1%) had 14.8 cardiologists per 100,000 persons and 41% of all certified medical oncologist in MS are in Jackson, Hinds County. Conclusion: There is definitely geographic disparity in the distribution of cardiologists and medical oncologists in Mississippi. There is a great need to explore new paradigms in address the lack or limited availability and easy access to well-trained care providers especially in communities burdened with cardiovascular disease and cancers.

Learning Areas:
Administration, management, leadership
Chronic disease management and prevention
Other professions or practice related to public health
Public health administration or related administration

Learning Objectives:
1)To assess the level of access to board certified specialists in the health care delivery system of the State of Mississippi. 2) To examine the possibility of geographic disparitity in the access to care 3) To determine the extent of disparitiy in access to care and burden of cardiovascular disease and cancer in Mississippi.

Keywords: Access to Health Care, Health Disparities

Presenting author's disclosure statement:

Qualified on the content I am responsible for because: Lead author
Any relevant financial relationships? No

I agree to comply with the American Public Health Association Conflict of Interest and Commercial Support Guidelines, and to disclose to the participants any off-label or experimental uses of a commercial product or service discussed in my presentation.