Contact

Tara Cooper

Healthcare Access Data

Access to medical and dental care helps a person to live a healthy life and prevents more costly medical conditions from developing. Yet gaps in access to affordable care can limit opportunities for health and well-being for some Rhode Islanders.

Purpose

To assess Rhode Island's progress towards advancing health equity, as part of Rhode Island's statewide health equity indicators.

Key Information

Indicator Percentage of adults who reported not seeking medical care due to cost, and percentage of adults who reported not seeking dental care due to cost
Data Source Behavioral Risk Factor Surveillance System (public data, available annually, dental care access asked in even years)
Strata Race/ethnicity, Income, Education, Disability status
What this indicator means

This indicator is based on two questions in the RI Behavioral Risk Factor Surveillance System survey that ask respondents, "Was there a time in the past 12 months when you needed to see a doctor but could not because of cost?" and, "During the past 12 months, was there any time when you needed dental care (including check-ups), but didn't get it because you couldn't afford it?" Data are reported as the weighted proportion of respondents from Rhode Island who answered "yes" to each survey question. For this indicator, groups with a higher percentage of people in that group who responded "yes" will be considered more disadvantaged.

Key Findings, 2016

  • Hispanic Rhode Islanders were more likely to not seek medical care and dental care due to cost compared to white, non-Hispanic Rhode Islanders.
  • Among those with a disability, 19.3% reported not seeking medical care due to cost, and 24.7% reported not seeking dental care due to cost, compared to 7.2% and 9.0%, respectively, among those without a disability.
  • Rhode Islanders with less than a high school education were significantly more likely to not seek medical and dental care due to cost compared to those who completed high school and those who attended at least some college.
  • Rhode Islanders with lower incomes were more likely to not seek medical and dental care due to cost compared to those with a household income above $50,000.

Rhode Island Numbers

Percentage of adults who did NOT seek medical care because of cost

Percentage of adults who did NOT seek dental care because of cost

Data Source: Rhode Island Behavioral Risk Factor Surveillance System (BRFSS) - Annual