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Vulnerable Populations

Vulnerable Populations

Disparities in health care and health outcomes are widespread. Minorities are less likely to get the preventive care they need to stay healthy, more likely to suffer from serious illnesses, such as diabetes, heart disease and colon cancer, and less likely to have access to quality health care. People with disabilities are more likely to experience difficulties or delays in getting the health care they need. [18] This dashboard tracks measures that have consistently been associated with disparities across populations. The national summary data for the measures that comprise this dashboard are presented below.

Percentage of People Who Have a Usual Source of Medical Care

Percentage of People Who Have a Specific Source of Ongoing Medical Care

Having a usual source for medical care is a summary measure of adequate access to primary care.



Percentage of Infants Born at a Low Birth Weight

Percentage of Infants Born at a Low Birth Weight

Low birth weight is a risk factor for poor lifetime health outcomes.



Percentage of People Who Reported Difficulty Seeing a Specialist

Percentage of People Who Reported Difficulty Seeing a Specialist

Many Americans need access to specialty care. This measure examines the extent to which those who need such care can receive it.



Percentage of People with High Blood Pressure that is Controlled

Percentage of Adults with High Blood Pressure Whose Hypertension is Adequately Controlled

Heart disease and stroke are the first and third leading causes of death. High blood pressure is a major risk factor for cardiovascular disease, particularly if it is not controlled.



The Proportion of People Living with HIV Who Know Their Serostatus

The Proportion of People Living with HIV Who Know Their Serostatus

Testing is critical to link people with HIV to medical care and support so that they can live healthier lives. People who are unaware of their infection are 3.5 times more likely to transmit HIV than people who are aware of their infection.



Percentage of Adults with High Cholesterol that is Controlled

Percentage of Adults with High Cholesterol Whose LDL Cholesterol Levels are Adequately Controlled

High cholesterol can double a person's risk for heart disease, the leading cause of death in the US. A simple blood test can detect levels of LDL (bad) and HDL (good) cholesterol, and treatment and lifestyle changes can prevent high cholesterol or keep it under control.



Percentage of People who Experience Good Communication with Their Health Care Provider

Percentage of People Who Reported that They Experienced Good Communication with Their Health Care Provider

This measure describes the quality of a person’s interaction with his or her health care provider. Effective communication is a critical aspect of safe, quality patient care.



Percentage of Children with a Healthy Weight

Percentage of Children with a Healthy Weight

Childhood obesity is closely related to adult obesity and, in adulthood, obesity contributes to leading causes of death, including heart disease, stroke, diabetes, and some cancers.



Proportion of People who Receive Follow-up Care after a Substance-Abuse-Related Discharge

Percentage of People Having an Inpatient or Outpatient Follow-up Encounter Pertaining to Substance Abuse (SA) Within 30 days of an SA-Related Discharge

Outpatient treatment for those with SA helps recovery and avoids the crises leading to hospitalization. This measure illustrates the extent to which individuals aged 13-64 and covered under employer health insurance plans become engaged in outpatient substance abuse care within 30 days of a SA related inpatient stay.



Percentage of People Who Delayed Care Due to Cost

Percentage of People Who Did Not Receive or Delayed Needed Care Due to Cost in the Past 12 Months

Postponing or not getting needed medical care due to cost is a measure of the affordability of care that has been monitored by HHS for many years.