There are multiple reasons why some individuals in the US have health insurance and others do not. Affordability, knowledge of health insurance policies and awareness of need are just some reasons one may or may not have health insurance. To raise public awareness about the social determinants that increase one’s susceptibility to developing heart disease and stroke, in 2014 the CDC released a map of the percentage of adults in the US who are under the age of 65 and are uninsured. This map highlights areas of the country that are severely uninsured compared to areas where almost no one is without health insurance.
To read more about the CDC’s efforts at addressing heart disease and stroke in the US, please visit their website here.
Source: Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. (2014). Percent of Population Under Age 65 without Health Insurance. Division of Heart Disease and Stroke Prevention. Retrieved from: https://www.cdc.gov/dhdsp/maps/sd_insurance.htm
The CDC conducted an interesting case study in which they mapped areas in Georgia that were most at risk to hazardous exposure from climate change. This map includes indicators such as percent of population below poverty level, percent 65 or older living alone, heat event exposure, percent of dialysis patients covered by Medicare, hospital insufficiency and percent impervious surface. To learn more information about how this study was conducted, check out the website here.
The Georgia Department of Public Health (GADPH) created maps of the health factors and outcomes in all of the counties in Georgia. The list of health factors include health behaviors, clinical care, social and economic factors and the physical environment. However, there is no mention of any oral health indicators. Health outcomes are defined as length and quality of life. Maps of these indicators and outcomes are helpful to better understand the impact of health issues in various populations. In the map below, the green counties represent health outcomes and the blue counties represent health factors.
Click on the source link below to access more information about GADPH’s state-wide data mapping efforts.
In the midst of newsworthy Hepatitis A outbreaks in Kentucky, San Diego, and Michigan, this map depicts the number of Hepatitis A incidents across the United States from 2017-2018. The number fluctuations in each state over the last year is alarming considering that there are few national regulations being put into place in the realm of food safety. Catherine Huddle from Food Safety News explains that although the CDC recommends that all children should be vaccinated at the ages of 1 and 2, ” the CDC has not recommended Hepatitis A vaccinations for food service workers” (Huddle, 2018). We can only hope that more information and awareness of Hepatitis A outbreaks can help force a decline in it’s prevalence. For more information of state reported Hepatitis A incidents you can visit the Food Safety News web page.
Health Professional Shortage Areas (HPSA) or Medically Underserved Area/Population (MUA/P) are designated by the Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA) based on HRSA’s shortage designation criteria. According to HRSA,
“HPSAs may be designated as having a shortage of primary medical care, dental or mental health providers. They may be urban or rural areas, population groups, or medical or other public facilities. MUAs may be a whole county or a group of contiguous counties, a group of counties or civil divisions, or a group of urban census tracts in which residents have a shortage of health services. MUPs may include groups of persons who face economic, cultural or linguistic barriers to health care.”
The HRSA website allows you find health related information using GIS. Information is sectioned by dental, mental and primary health, by state and even county.
Take a look at the map below to see the HPSAs for dental health care in Georgia.
Preventive oral health care is essential for one’s overall health. For children, it is important to address oral health needs earlier in life to prevent oral health issues from forming and progressing into adulthood. Below is a map of the percentage of children in Georgia with financial access to preventive dental care. This map comes from an article written by Cao, Gentili, Griffin, Griffin & Serban (2017) titled, “Disparities in Preventive Dental Care Among Children in Georgia.”
The authors of the article state that financial access is, “the percentage of children who either are eligible for public insurance or have the ability to afford dental care through commercial insurance or ability to pay out-of-pocket,” (Cao et al., 2017). Although there are plenty of children who are eligible to receive public funding for preventive dental care in GA, only 27.9% of the 4,123 dentists in GA who offer preventive dental services to children accept public insurance, (Cao et al., 2017).
What are your thoughts? What does financial access to preventive dental care mean to you? Is this an accurate representation of financial access? I invite you to read more of the article on the CDC’s website, here.
I came across a map on latimes.com that maps America’s healthcare markets and ranks them based on each areas healthcare features and quality. The three feature categories are health insurance, available doctors, and poverty, and the three outcome categories are preventable deaths, avoidable hospitalizations, and recommended care. It is interesting to compare what areas in the US are more prone to poor healthcare quality and which areas seem to be on track.
Check out the map and see how your area measures up. Go to latimes.com or click here