Online Program

Do we have enough? Understanding capacity of care using Geoanalytic Spatial Mapping to access care coverage in Northern California post ACA implementation

Wednesday, November 4, 2015 : 11:30 a.m. - 11:50 a.m.

Mathew Schmidtlein, PhD, Department of Geography, Sacramento State University, Sacramento, CA
Dale Ainsworth, PhD, Department of Kinesiology and Health Science, Sacramento State University, Sacramento, CA
Heather Diaz, DrPH, MPH, Department of Kin and Health Science, Sacramento State University, Sacramento, CA
Understanding capacity is critical in assessing an area’s primary health care system.  The Affordable Care Act aims at assuring California residents have access to health care coverage. However, health insurance coverage does not equate to access to primary care for individuals if there is an inadequate supply of physicians. One existing approach to assess primary health system capacity is based on calculating the ratio of patients to physicians in a geographic area. Advanced approaches compare 1) the population within a given distance of each provider to 2) the providers within a distance of each population location in order to understand population accessibility to health care.  We seek to add to these methodological tools by using an approach to identify locations without sufficient capacity for under-insured patients in the primary health care system.  We used location/allocation modeling tools within a Geographic Information System (GIS) to compare the spatial distribution of primary care physicians to estimated post-ACA Medicare patients at the ZIP code level in several Northern California counties.  Distribution of primary care capacity is based on models of physician FTEs, patient mix, and panel size.  Results show that while some Northern California communities have sufficient primary health care capacity to serve Medicare patients, others have substantial shortages. Results help understand the impact ACA could have on the area, and the potential lack of care available to residents once they secure health coverage. Results are used by area hospital systems for planning of new provider location and building of new medical facilities.

Learning Areas:

Provision of health care to the public

Learning Objectives:
Describe the spacial method used for "location/allocation" modeling in relation to determining capacity for care in a given geographical area.

Keyword(s): Affordable Care Act, Health Care Access

Presenting author's disclosure statement:

Qualified on the content I am responsible for because: I research and teach geospatial methods, have authored multiple peer-reviewed articles on the application of GIS tools, and have served as a reviewer for multiple peer-reviewed journal articles on the application of spatial research approaches. Some of my recent work has included the application of these tools directly to health needs and capacity assessments.
Any relevant financial relationships? Yes

Name of Organization Clinical/Research Area Type of relationship
Sutter Health Hospital Community Benefit Consultant
Valley Vision, Inc. Hospital Community Benefit Consultant

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.