Access to Comprehensive Public Health Services

Public health systems are core resources at the local level. However, some public health departments are more comprehensive and better funded than others.

According to the National Longitudinal Survey of Public Health Systems, in 2018, 51% of the U.S. population was served by a comprehensive public health system, up from 47% in 2016. An increase in this amount would signal either a growing number of public health departments that provide comprehensive services; an expansion in the geographic reach of these departments; or a strengthening of shared services and collaboration among the governmental and nongovernmental organizations that contribute to the delivery of public health services.

SOURCE: National Longitudinal Survey of Public Health Systems, 2014-2018

METHODS NOTE: Data from 2014 and 2016 were re-weighted to reflect the number of people residing in each local public health jurisdiction, resulting in small changes from prior estimates. Current estimates are based on data from the 2016 NACCHO Survey. Prior estimates were based on projections using data from the 2013 NACCHO Survey.

  • U.S. POPULATION SERVED BY A COMPREHENSIVE PUBLIC HEALTH SYSTEM, BY RACE/ETHNICITY

  • U.S. POPULATION SERVED BY A COMPREHENSIVE PUBLIC HEALTH SYSTEM, BY GEOGRAPHY

Health Insurance Coverage

Health insurance is very important for health care access. Uninsured people receive less medical care and less timely care, they have worse health outcomes, and lack of insurance is a fiscal burden for them and their families.

In 2017, the National Health Interview Survey found that 84% of the nonelderly adult population (ages 18–64) had continuous health insurance, protecting them from health-related financial shocks. This number remained stable from 2016. An increase in the number of adults covered by health insurance means that more people have a key component of access to care.

SOURCE: National Health Interview Survey, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 2016 and 2017

 

  • DISTRIBUTION OF LENGTH OF COVERAGE FOR U.S. NONELDERLY ADULTS (18-64 YEARS), In 2017

  • DISTRIBUTION OF LENGTH OF COVERAGE FOR U.S. NONELDERLY ADULTS (18-64 YEARS)

Access to Alcohol, Substance Use, or Mental Health Treatment

Comprehensive access to care is an important step to people’s ability to get the substance use and mental health treatments they may need.

According to the National Survey on Drug Use and Health, in 2017, 40% of adults in the U.S. with a mental health or substance use disorder reported receiving treatment in the past year. This use of mental health or substance use disorder treatment has remained about 40% from 2013 to 2017. Racial/ethnic and gender differences in use are notable, with more racial/ethnic minorities and men reporting more unmet treatment need. An increase in this number would signal improved access to and utilization of needed alcohol, drug, and mental health treatment, allowing people to lead healthier lives.

SOURCE: National Survey on Drug Use and Health, Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration, 2013-2017

  • U.S. ADULTS RECEIVING TREATMENT FOR REPORTED MENTAL HEALTH OR SUBSTANCE USE PROBLEM

  • U.S. ADULTS RECEIVING TREATMENT FOR REPORTED MENTAL HEALTH OR SUBSTANCE USE PROBLEM, BY RACE/ETHNICITY

  • U.S. ADULTS RECEIVING TREATMENT FOR REPORTED MENTAL HEALTH OR SUBSTANCE USE PROBLEM, BY GENDER

Routine Dental Care

Poor oral health can affect diet, overall physical health, and even job opportunities. Regular dental visits can identify oral health problems early.

According to the Medical Expenditures Panel Survey, in 2018, 46% of the U.S. population had any dental care in the previous calendar year. This number has increased 4 percentage points since 2013. Any dental care visits are greater among children and those 65 years and older, as well as those with private dental insurance. While all children covered by Medicaid or SCHIP have dental coverage, only half of adults covered by Medicaid have dental coverage. Only about a third of Black and Hispanic people report any dental care vs. approximately half of White individuals. An increase in the number of people who routinely access any dental care is likely to indicate an improvement in oral health across the population.

SOURCE: Medical Expenditure Panel Survey, Agency for Health Care Research and Quality, 2013-2018

  • PERCENT OF U.S. POPULATION WHO HAD ANY DENTAL CARE IN THE PREVIOUS YEAR

  • PERCENT OF U.S. POPULATION WHO HAD ANY DENTAL CARE IN THE PREVIOUS YEAR, BY AGE AND INSURANCE TYPE

  • PERCENT OF U.S. POPULATION WHO HAD ANY DENTAL CARE IN THE PREVIOUS YEAR, BY RACE/ETHNICITY

  • PERCENT OF U.S. POPULATION WHO HAD ANY DENTAL CARE IN THE PREVIOUS YEAR, BY FEDERAL POVERTY LEVEL