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Poll Reveals Cost a Barrier to Medical Care for Some Ohioans

The cost of health care often is a reason people delay medical appointments, along with a lack of insurance and scheduling conflicts. (rawpixel/Pixabay)
The cost of health care often is a reason people delay medical appointments, along with a lack of insurance and scheduling conflicts. (rawpixel/Pixabay)
November 8, 2018

COLUMBUS, Ohio – Medical professionals say getting the right care at the right time is a crucial element of wellness, however new data shows that some Ohioans are delaying medical care.

The 2018 Ohio Health Issues Poll examined areas related to access to health care, and found 8-in-10 Ohio adults reported they had a health checkup in the past year.

Overall, 44 percent said they are in excellent or very good health.

Stephen Roller is CEO of Primary Health Solutions, a federally qualified health center in Butler County. He explains that while most adults are getting regular checkups, some people may skip it if they feel healthy, which can be problematic in the long term.

"Even though folks may say they feel like they're in excellent health, they're not going to see the doctor for preventive stuff so that we can screen for breast cancer, screen for cervical cancer, screen for colon cancer,” he states. “We're not detecting that in a lot of these populations until it's much further advanced disease because we're not doing preventive-type stuff."

Of the 2-in-10 Ohio adults who said they had delayed getting needed medical care at some point in the past year, nearly half reported cost was the reason. Other main factors include a lack of insurance or scheduling conflicts.

Roller says preventive care is crucial to ensure problems are caught early, and expanding access to care and the bringing down the cost can help more people seek regular medical visits.

He adds that school-based health centers are one strategy, as they offer services to students as well as teachers, staff and community members.

"The idea is if we can get young kids more engaged in their health care, we really can start changing the idea of how health care is utilized, and ultimately we're going to improve the outcomes across socio- economic and across demographic lines," he states.

Primary Health Solutions operates two school-based health centers, and will soon be cutting the ribbon on another.

Mary Kuhlman, Public News Service - OH