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State Health Compare: State-Level Data Resources on Measures of Health Equity (Part One - Coverage, Affordability and Cost of Care, Access to Care, and Quality of Care)December 22, 2021:
Health equity and social determinants of health (SDOH) are rapidly growing fields of public health research. SHADAC researchers believe that making strides toward achieving health equity depends equally on better understanding health disparities as well as on making concerted, measurable efforts toward reducing avoidable differences in populations’ health outcomes.
This blog, the first in a two-part series, provides a high-level overview of a range of state-level measures currently housed on SHADAC’s online data tool, State Health Compare, which may help states understand and track trends across indicators of health equity, such as health insurance coverage, health care access and affordability, and quality of care.
One of the essential steps towards achieving health equity is providing comprehensive and affordable health insurance coverage in order to provide reasonable and increased access to health care services. State Health Compare provides annually updated state-level measures of health insurance coverage across a number of populations, including populations that have been historically marginalized.
Coverage Type (2020 only)*
This measure shows the rates of different types of health insurance coverage (Medicare, employer-sponsored insurance [ESI], Medicaid, individual, as well uninsurance) for 2020 only. Users can view this single-year measure by a limited set of breakdowns such as age, health status, and poverty level. Related Resource: In light of the data quality challenges noted for the 2020 American Community Survey (ACS), SHADAC instead analyzed estimates of national-level health insurance coverage for 2020 using the Current Population Survey (CPS). A recent blog looks at U.S. trends in rates of the uninsured, public and private coverage changes, and breakdowns by age, income level, race/ethnicity, and state Medicaid expansion status.
Coverage Type (2008-2019)
This measure shows the rates of different types of health insurance coverage, including Medicare, employer-sponsored insurance (ESI), Medicaid, and individual coverage, as well as no insurance coverage. Users can view this measure by a variety of breakdowns, including: age, citizenship, disability status, education, family income, health status, limited English proficiency, marital status, poverty level, race/ethnicity, sex, and work status. Related Resource: As part of our fall data release coverage, SHADAC produces an annual three-part blog series looking at health insurance coverage data from the American Community Survey (ACS). The first blog looks at state-level information about health insurance coverage by type, including uninsurance and private and public coverage for 2019.
Health Care Affordability
While having health insurance coverage is a critical step in eliminating health disparities, achieving equity also requires that everyone has sufficient resources to afford and access needed care or are adequately protected from health care costs by adequate and comprehensive health insurance coverage.
People with High Medical Care Cost Burden (2010-2012, 2013-2017, 2017-2020)*
This measure highlights the percent of individuals in families where out-of-pocket health care spending, including premiums, has exceeded 10 percent of annual income. Breakdowns by employer coverage, income, and race/ethnicity are available for each state.
Adults Who Forgo Needed Medical Care (2005-2010, 2011-2020)*
Data for this measure indicates the percent of adults in each state who could not get needed medical care due to cost. Breakdowns by education level and race/ethnicity are available for all states. Related Resource: SHADAC recently updated a blog focusing on racial/education inequities in access and ability to afford medical care, using the latest estimates (2019) for this measure along with estimates for Adults with No Personal Doctor. The original blog, Affordability and Access to Care in 2018: Examining Racial and Educational Inequities across the United States (Infographic), looked at the effects of rising health costs on delaying or skipping needed care.
Access to Health Care
Much like the ability to afford health care, individuals’ ability to access care has a number of associations with overall physical, social, and mental health status of populations. Individuals with no or weak connections to the health care system are less likely to get timely and adequate health care when needed.
Adults with No Personal Doctor (2005-2010, 2011-2020)*
This measure shows the percent of adults without a personal doctor and offers breakdowns by education level and race/ethnicity. Related Resource: SHADAC recently updated a blog focusing on racial/education inequities in access and ability to afford medical care, using the latest estimates (2019) for this measure along with estimates for Adults Who Forgo Needed Medical Care. The original blog, Affordability and Access to Care in 2018: Examining Racial and Educational Inequities across the United States (Infographic), looked at the effects of rising health costs on delaying or skipping needed care.
Broadband Internet Access (2016-2019)
Estimates for this measure show the percent of households that have a broadband internet subscription, which is an increasingly essential means of finding and accessing care and communicating with health care providers. Related Resource: SHADAC recently produced two new blogs aimed at measuring the impact of disparities in access to broadband internet across the states in light of coronavirus. The first blog looks at disparities in state-level broadband access by income, rurality, coverage, and disability status; the second examines the role broadband access plays in eliminating access barriers to healthcare services, such as enabling telehealth visits during the COVID pandemic.
Physicians Who Accept New Medicaid Patients (2014-2017)
State Health Compare’s newest measure, Physicians Who Accept New Medicaid Patients, provides a measure of the percent of physicians who reported accepting payments from Medicaid patients among the total number of physicians who accept new patients. Multiple years of data for this measure have been pooled together in order to provide reliable state-level estimates, and the measure can be broken down by the ratio of mid-level providers, setting, and share of Medicaid patients. Related Resource: In addition to producing the only state-level estimates available for this measure, SHADAC also published a factsheet for the Medicaid and CHIP Payment Access Commission (MACPAC) that analyzed physician acceptance of new Medicaid patients at the national and state levels, and found significant variations in rates of acceptance by state and by various patient, physician, and practice characteristics.
Quality of Care
Achieving health equity not only includes making strides toward increasing health insurance coverage and access to affordable health care but also ensuring that all populations receive high-quality care.
Adult Cancer Screenings (2005-2010, 2012-2020)
This measure shows the percentage of adults who have received the recommended cancer screenings, such as pap smears, colorectal cancer screenings, and mammograms, in the past year. Breakdowns for these estimates are available by education level and race/ethnicity categories.
Adult Flu Vaccinations (2017-2019)
One of the most recent additions to State Health Compare, this measure provides an estimate of the rate of adults (18+) who received a flu vaccine in the past twelve months, with breakdowns available by age, chronic disease status, coverage type, education, household income category, metropolitan status, personal doctor status, race/ethnicity, and sex. In order to provide reliable state-level estimates for smaller subpopulations, multiple years of data for this measure have been pooled together. Related Resource: Using this measure, SHADAC researchers produced a set of 50-state infographics showing State-level Flu Vaccination Rates among Key Population Subgroups as the best available proxy for predicting and understanding possible vaccination patterns for COVID-19. Each individual state infographic highlights vaccination rates for individual states compared with a number of demographic categories, including age, race/ethnicity, household income level, insurance status, chronic conditions, access to care, and educational attainment.
For a full overview of all available state-level measures, please visit the “Explore Data” page on State Health Compare, or take a look at our one-page guide to State Health Compare measures and their data sources.
All measures marked with an “*”: This indicates a break in series due to survey changes in either data processing or implementation methodology.