Access to Care & Patient Navaigation

Health care for the uninsured is often “too little, too late.”.
Being sicker when care is obtained, or getting inadequate continuity of care has a significant impact on health outcomes, leading to higher morbidity and mortality rates.

Access to Care and Patient Naviagation

Helping the unisured and underinsured access needed health care services.

pictureThe Licking County Access to Care & Patient Navigator Committee is dedicated to improving access to affordable health care services for those individuals in need. Members of the network have successfully secured a grant that will allow uninsured residents to receive free emergency dental care. The group will continue to work to address the healthcare gaps in the public health system. If you would like to join the Network please contact Mary Beth Hagstad, chairperson, at 740-349-6685 or email mhagstad@lickingcohealth.org .

 

Access to health care refers to the ease with which an individual can obtain needed medical services. Social, cultural, economic, and geographic factors  influence health care access and ultimately the length and quality of life or our residents.

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A Growing Problem

LCHD reported in 2008 that 13% of adults in Licking County could not access health care when it was needed due to cost. This is an increase from the 9% of county residents who responded similarly in 2006. Additionally the number of expectant mothers entering prenatal care in their first trimester fell from 82.5% in 2005 to 59.3% in 2008. Being able to access health care services allows individuals to seek treatment for easily treatable conditions before they become serious issues requiring costly remedies. Expectant mothers who enter prenatal care during their first trimester are more likely to have a full term pregnancy and their babies are more likely to have normal birth weights. Both of these items increase the likelihood of the delivery of healthy children.

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Where to Find Help

In many cases, access to care is limited because the patient doesn't know what resources are available, or how to naviagate the system to obtain free or low cost care. For assistance finding affordable health care:

2-1-1/Pathways of Central Ohio  - Pathways operates the 2-1-1 Crisis Hotline & Information Center for Licking and Knox counties. Referrals can be obtained by dialing 2-1-1 or 740-345-4357 or searching their on-line directory here.

Licking County Health Department - A directory of health services is available on the health department website or referrals can be made by calling (740) 349-6535.