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Access is defined as the equal opportunity of people to get appropriate care to maintain or improve their health. Addressing disparities in healthcare access has been on the national policy agenda since the 1967 Report of the National Advisory Commission on Health Manpower. Several policy interventions to improve access have been studied, implemented and evaluated, including various provisions contained in the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (ACA). Much of the success of the ACA will depend on issues related to access to care, and its impact will be highly variable among states and extended over time.
What We Do
The Five Dimension Framework
Existing research has focused on five dimensions of access: affordability, accessibility, availability, accommodation and acceptability. In our research, we primarily focus on accessibility and availability as the objectives of the system’s optimality whereas other dimensions specify constraints of the care system. One important constraint of the acceptability dimension is the participation of healthcare providers in the Medicaid program.
Within this framework, we focus on Measurement, Inference, Interventions and Linking to Outcomes.
Evaluating spatial access of different populations by taking into account supply and demand trade-offs and system constraints using optimization models.
Studying systematic disparities in access between population groups defined by geographic location and demographic characteristics using spatial statistics.
Designing targeted interventions and estimating impact on system through optimization models.
Link to outcomes
Linking access to outcomes (statistically) and optimizing interventions likely to positively affect health outcomes or inequities.