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 2015, 51% of the U.S. population was served by a comprehensive public health system. 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.

 

  • POPULATION SERVED BY COMPREHENSIVE PUBLIC HEALTH SYSTEM, BY RACE

  • POPULATION SERVED BY 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 2016, the National Health Interview Survey found that 84.3% of the nonelderly adult population (ages 18–64) had continuous health insurance, protecting them from health-related financial shocks. An increase in the number of Americans covered by health insurance would mean that more people have a key component of access to care.

 

  • DISTRIBUTION OF LENGTH OF COVERAGE FOR NONELDERLY ADULTS (18-64), 2016

Access to Alcohol, Substance Use, or Mental Health Treatment

When people have comprehensive access to care, they have the ability to get the alcohol, drug, and mental health treatments they may need.

According to the National Survey on Drug Use and Health, in 2016, 40% of U.S. adults with a mental health or substance use disorder reported receiving treatment in the past year. 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, 2016

  • Adults (18+) Receiving Treatment for Reported Mental Health or Substance Abuse Problems

  • Adults (18+) Receiving Treatment for Reported Mental Health or Substance Abuse Problems, by Race/Ethnicity

  • Adults (18+) Receiving Treatment for Reported Mental Health or Substance Abuse Problems, 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. While all children covered by Medicaid or SCHIP have dental coverage, only half of adults covered by Medicaid have dental coverage.

According to the Medical Expenditures Panel Survey, in 2015, 39% of the U.S. population had a general dental visit in the last calendar year. Regular visits are greater among children as well as those with private dental insurance, while visits among those with Medicaid or SCHIP are similar to those without any insurance at all. An increase in the number of people who routinely access dental care is likely to indicate an improvement in oral health across the population.

SOURCE: 2015, 2012 Medical Expenditure Panel Survey

  • PERCENT OF POPULATION (ADULTS AND CHILDREN) WHO HAD A GENERAL DENTAL VISIT IN THE LAST YEAR

  • PERCENT OF POPULATION WHO HAD A GENERAL DENTAL VISIT IN THE LAST YEAR, BY AGE AND INSURANCE TYPE

  • PERCENT OF POPULATION (ADULTS AND CHILDREN) WHO HAD A GENERAL DENTAL VISIT IN THE LAST YEAR, BY RACE/ETHNICITY

  • PERCENT OF POPULATION (ADULTS AND CHILDREN) WHO HAD A GENERAL DENTAL VISIT IN THE LAST YEAR, BY FEDERAL POVERTY LEVEL