Access to Care

Individuals should have timely and easy access to health services such as primary care, emergency care, preventive care (immunizations and screenings), and mental health and substance use care. According to Healthy People 2020, access to health care is necessary for:

• overall physical, social and mental health status;
• prevention of disease;
• detection and treatment of illnesses;
• quality of life;
• preventable death; and
• life expectancy (1).

An individual's ability to access health care is impacted by many different factors including the cost of care, barriers to care, impact of insurance on access and provider availability.  Below you can find links to specific topics related to access to care. 

Health Care Utilization

"83 percent of Jefferson County residents visited a health care provider in the last 12 months."

- Colorado Health Institute, 2017 Colorado Health Access Survey

Of the population from the chart above, that received health care at an emergency department, 28.2 percent of those (as seen in the chart on the below) in Jefferson County felt that they could have been treated by a regular doctor in a clinic, rather than the emergency department. Emergency department costs are substantially higher than medical clinic costs and can be an additional burden on both individuals and health care plans.

The map on the right shows the distribution, by census tract, of adults who have not had any medical care within the past 12 months. Darker colors indicate areas with higher percentage of the population forgoing care.

Percent adults who did not have a regular medical checkup in the past 12 months (2014-2017)

Source: CDPHE BRFSS Small Area Estimates (2014-2017)

Usual Source of Care

The chart below shows that the majority of those within Jefferson County (76.8 percent) go to their doctor's office or a private clinic when they need medical care. However, a significant percent of our residents (15.8 percent) still do not have a medical home or a place where they regularly seek medical care.

Reference List

1. Healthy People 2020 (2018). Access to Health Services. Retrieved from: https://www.healthypeople.gov/2020/topics-objectives/topic/Access-to-Health-Services

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Data Sources

CHI CHAS: Colorado Health Institute, Colorado Health Access Survey: https://www.coloradohealthinstitute.org/data

CDPHE BRFSS: Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment, Behavioral Risk Factor Surveillance Survey, Small Area Estimates: http://www.cohealthmaps.dphe.state.co.us/cdphe_community_level_estimates/

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Published on July 17, 2018

Updated April 23, 2019