Access to Health Care Services
Chisago County, MN

Access to comprehensive, quality health services is necessary for health equity and a healthy quality of life for individuals in our community. 


Access to health care can impact physical, social and mental health, disease and disability prevention and life expectancy, among other things.

In order to achieve this, individuals must gain entry into the health care system, find a health care location with their needed services and find a provider with whom they can communicate and trust. Each of these actions come with unique barriers that can hinder access to care (1). 

Insurance Coverage 

Barriers to health care services include lack of availability, high cost and lack of insurance coverage. Uninsured people are less likely to receive medical care, more likely to die early and more likely to have poor health status. Current policy efforts focus on the provision of insurance coverage as the principal means of ensuring access to health care among the general population (1).

Contact with the Health Care System 

Regular health exams and tests can help find problems before they start. They also can help find problems early, when your chances for treatment and cure are better. By getting the right health services, screenings, and treatments, you are taking steps that help your chances for living a longer, healthier life (2). 

Forgone Care

Medical Care Delay

The association between delays in seeking medical care and poor outcomes is well established. 

After paying steep health insurance premiums, or in some cases funding their own medical spending accounts, Americans with health insurance are often still responsible for large deductibles and co-pays that inhibit them from visiting a doctor for every medical symptom (3).

Dental Care Delay

The factors that contribute to problems with access to oral health care are numerous and complex. These include social, cultural, economic, structural, and geographic factors, among others. In addition, poor oral health literacy of both individuals and all types of health care professionals  contributes to poor access because individuals may not understand the importance of oral health care or their options for accessing such care (4). 

Mental Health Care Delay

As most people know, mental health care services are not covered by health insurance packages and health plans to the same degree as physical health care services. Not only are there usually more services excluded as covered benefits, but those services that are covered are often subject to higher co-pays and are capped at a maximum number of covered treatments (5). 

"Of all the forms of injustice, inequality in health care 
is the most shocking and inhumane."

—Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. 

Chisago County Clinics 

St. Croix Regional Medical Center—Lindstrom 

Lindstrom Clinic specializes in Allergy, Cardiovascular Disease, Family Medicine, Obstetrics & Gynecology, Otolaryngology, Psychology, Podiatric Medicine, Pulmonary Disease and Sports Medicine. 

M Health Fairview Lakes Medical Center—Wyoming  

Wyoming clinic cares for your whole family.  They have same-day appointments and extended hours, making it easy to get the treatment you need.  They also have urgent care, so you can see a provider without an appointment.  Many specialty services are available on-site, including eye care and dermatology.  And if you need a prescription, their pharmacy will make sure you leave the clinic with everything you need to get better. 

M Health Fairview Clinic—North Branch 

North Branch Clinic offers same-day appointments and extended hours make it easy to get the treatment you need.  They also have urgent care, so you can be seen without an appointment.   And if you need a prescription, visit their on-site pharmacy.  

M Health Fairview Clinic—Chisago City 

Chisago City Clinic offers same-day appointments and extended clinic hours, so it’s easy to get the care you need. Many specialty services are available on-site, including mammography, eye care and physical therapy. They also have a Fairview Pharmacy. 

Summer 2018, the M Health Fairview Clinic in Rush City changed the way they offer care in that area. The new M Health Fairview model of care includes these services: 

  • Medical support staff to help connect patients to care, take vitals and help with virtual care options, like e-visits and our online clinic, OnCare
  • Lab services (limited)
  • Secure computer and internet to use for online care
  • Mammography screenings by appointment
  • Diabetes education by appointment

The new model of care is located on the north side of the pharmacy building adjacent to the prior clinic space, located at 760 W. 4th Street.

References

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

2. CDC. Regular Check-ups are Important. 2017. Retrieved from: https://www.cdc.gov/family/checkup/index.htm

3. Reisinger MW, Moss M, Clark. Lack of social support associated with a delay in seeking medical care? A cross-sectional study of Minnesota and Tennessee residents using data from the Behavioral Risk Factor Surveillance System. 2018. Retrieved from: https://bmjopen.bmj.com/content/8/7/e018139.citation-tools

4. Patrick, D. L., Lee, R. S., Nucci, M., Grembowski, D., Jolles, C. Z., & Milgrom, P. Reducing oral health disparities: a focus on social and cultural determinants. 2006. Retrieved from: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2147600

5. McLaughlin C. G. Delays in treatment for mental disorders and health insurance coverage. Health services research. 2004. Retrieved from: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC1361004

Published: 1/15/20