Access to Care

Access to Care is a broad topic that deals with reducing individuals' barriers  to receiving comprehensive quality health care.  As identified by the Office of Disease Prevention and Health Promotion, Access to Care focuses on three important components: 

  1. "Gaining entry into a the health care system (usually through insurance); 
  2. Accessing a location where needed health care services are provided (geographic availability); and
  3. Finding a health care provider whom the patient trusts and can communicate with (personal relationship)."  

The 2016 Community Health Needs Assessment conducted by MUSC, Roper St. Francis and Trident United Way found that some of the common barriers for individuals in the tri-county accessing care were: cost/coverage, fear, transportation, and understanding/knowledge of resources.  Through the strategies identified below, the Access to Care plan seeks to reduce these barriers and provide equitable access to care for all in the Tri-County.

Goal:

1. Increase access to quality health care and services (medical, clinical preventative, mental health, dental) by closing the insurance coverage gap, building provider capacity and reducing transportation barriers.


Sources: Office of Disease Prevention and Health Promotion.  Access to Health Services, Overview. Retrieved from: healthypeople.gov.

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There is currently no community indicator available to measure progress on this recommendation.  Therefore, the first action taken by this group will be to gather baseline data to establish the number of health care services and access points for primary, specialty and behavioral health within the Tri-County by December 2019.

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Because the efforts undertaken as part of this recommendation will be supportive of existing efforts by the Tri-County governments to expand transportation options, community indicators related to the number/percentage of transportation stops or use of transportation modes, would not be appropriate for this recommendation.  Progress on this recommendation will be tracked based on identification and review of transportation surveys as well as participation in transportation planning meetings.  Monitoring and reporting of these efforts will begin with the plan launch in Fall 2018.  

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