New Formula For Determining Medically Underserved Areas

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Medically Underserved Areas

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Report develops new formula for determining medically underserved areas.

  • "Designating Places and Populations as Medically Underserved: A Proposal for a New Approach," Journal of Health Care for the Poor and Underserved:The study examines the development of a theory-based, data-drivenreplacement for the Health Professional Shortage Area and MedicallyUnderserved Area designation systems. The data detail primary medicalcare use and the distribution of practitioners based on demographic andcommunity characteristics. The approach would designate 90% of currentgeographic and low-income populations as health professional shortageareas, according to the study. Researchers found that use of such asystem, "however, requires careful explanation to and support fromaffected groups," according to the report (Ricketts et al., JHCPU, August 2007).
  • "Immigrants and Health Care -- At the Intersection of Two Broken Systems," New England Journal of Medicine: In the perspective piece, Susan Okie, a physician and NEJMcontributing editor, discusses costs associated with health care foruninsured immigrants, both documented and undocumented, in the U.S.Okie also discusses immigrants' access to care and the effects ofimmigration laws on that access, as well as local governments' effortsto expand health coverage to undocumented immigrants (Okie, NEJM, 8/9).

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Reprinted with permission fromkaisernetwork.org.You can view the entire KaiserWeekly Health Disparities Report, search the archives,and sign up for email delivery at kaisernetwork.org/email. The Kaiser Weekly Health Disparities Report is published forkaisernetwork.org,a free service of The Henry J. Kaiser Family Foundation.

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