Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Cuts to local health departments hurt communities

Date:
November 14, 2013
Source:
Health Behavior News Service
Summary:
A new study finds that many local health departments aren’t able to meet goals to increase health care access.

Local health departments (LHDs) can play pivotal roles in U.S. communities by helping to link people with medical services and assuring access to care when it is otherwise unavailable. However, a new study in the American Journal of Preventive Medicine finds that many LHDs aren’t able to meet these goals, which could spell trouble for the uninsured and underinsured.

Related Articles


“Our report shows that in 2010, about 28 percent of LHDs had not conducted any of the three targeted activities in our study,” which looked at how LHDs assessed gaps in care, increased access to health services and used strategies to meet the health needs of the underserved, said lead author Huabin Luo, Ph.D, former research fellow with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and assistant professor in the department of public health at the Brody School of Medicine at East Carolina University.

In recent years, deep funding cuts have impacted local health departments. For example, between 2008 and 2009 alone, over 23,000 LHD jobs were eliminated. This combined with an increase in demand for health care services can mean an increase in health disparities for those who rely on community health care.

The study found that LHDs with larger budgets in bigger population centers were more likely to provide access to health services compared to smaller LHDs with fewer financial resources, where they may be needed more.

Laura Hanen, chief of government and public affairs at the National Association of County and City Health Officials (NACCHO), says that assuring access to care is complex and often out of the hands of LHDs in terms of the availability of providers and financial resources to care for uninsured. She explained LHDs do not receive sufficient resources to consistently carry out their core functions. “They are primarily supported through categorical disease funding, leaving them to support essential public services on the margins.”

Luo said the study may shine a light on what is needed to improve LHD services. “More support is needed for small local health departments with fewer financial resources to bridge the gap in providing access to care. If people cannot get proper care on time, their health conditions may get worse, they may end up in ERs and hospitalization will cost more.”

Hanen noted that as health insurance coverage becomes more widespread, LHDs will continue to identify and link people without health insurance to programs that provide health care services. “It cannot be overstated enough that poor housing, education, low income, unemployment and lack of transportation in a neighborhood are all interconnected and are all factors that determine health.”


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by Health Behavior News Service. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Journal Reference:

  1. Huabin Luo, Sergey Sotnikov, Gulzar Shah. Local Health Department Activities to Ensure Access to Care. American Journal of Preventive Medicine, 2013; 45 (6): 720 DOI: 10.1016/j.amepre.2013.07.010

Cite This Page:

Health Behavior News Service. "Cuts to local health departments hurt communities." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 14 November 2013. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2013/11/131114155748.htm>.
Health Behavior News Service. (2013, November 14). Cuts to local health departments hurt communities. ScienceDaily. Retrieved March 31, 2015 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2013/11/131114155748.htm
Health Behavior News Service. "Cuts to local health departments hurt communities." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2013/11/131114155748.htm (accessed March 31, 2015).

Share This


More From ScienceDaily



More Health & Medicine News

Tuesday, March 31, 2015

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Solitair Device Aims to Takes Guesswork out of Sun Safety

Solitair Device Aims to Takes Guesswork out of Sun Safety

Reuters - Innovations Video Online (Mar. 31, 2015) — The Solitair device aims to take the confusion out of how much sunlight we should expose our skin to. Small enough to be worn as a tie or hair clip, it monitors the user&apos;s sun exposure by taking into account their skin pigment, location and schedule. Matthew Stock reports. Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com
Soda, Salt and Sugar: The Next Generation of Taxes

Soda, Salt and Sugar: The Next Generation of Taxes

Washington Post (Mar. 30, 2015) — Denisa Livingston, a health advocate for the Dinι Community Advocacy Alliance, and the Post&apos;s Abby Phillip discuss efforts around the country to make unhealthy food choices hurt your wallet as much as your waistline. Video provided by Washington Post
Powered by NewsLook.com
UnitedHealth Buys Catamaran

UnitedHealth Buys Catamaran

Reuters - Business Video Online (Mar. 30, 2015) — The $12.8 billion merger will combine the U.S.&apos; third and fourth largest pharmacy benefit managers. Analysts say smaller PBMs could also merge. Fred Katayama reports. Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com
S. Leone in New Anti-Ebola Lockdown

S. Leone in New Anti-Ebola Lockdown

AFP (Mar. 28, 2015) — Sierra Leone imposed a three-day nationwide lockdown Friday for the second time in six months in a bid to prevent a resurgence of the deadly Ebola virus. Duration: 01:17 Video provided by AFP
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
 
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:  

Breaking News:

Strange & Offbeat Stories

 

Health & Medicine

Mind & Brain

Living & Well

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:  

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile iPhone Android Web
Follow Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins