Limited Access to Healthcare Comprehensive Nursing Essay Example

Adequate access to healthcare is critical for optimum health, yet many people in the United States continue to face multiple access to healthcare barriers. Every US resident should conveniently and easily access healthcare services, including primary care, dental care, behavioral health, emergency services, and public health services. The Healthy People 2020 provides that access to care is critical for disease prevention, overall physical, social, and mental health, illness detection, diagnosis, treatment, and quality of life. Access to care also helps prevent death and increase life expectancy. Patient access to care is the baseline for all encounters between patients and the healthcare industry. Limited access to care means that patients do not receive the required medical services, build a relationship with their providers, and attain optimal wellness (Huot et al., 2019). Although the majority of the people living in the city can access care conveniently, it is not a reality for everyone across the country. Limited access to healthcare mainly affects rural communities, minority racial and ethnic groups, immigrants, and persons with disabilities, especially during the Covid-19 pandemic.(Limited Access to Healthcare Comprehensive Nursing Essay Example)

Limited Access to Healthcare Comprehensive Nursing Essay Example

Factors Contributing to Limited Access to Healthcare

There are multiple barriers to sufficient, necessary, and appropriate access to healthcare services. Primary factors include financial means of paying for health services and transportation means to reach healthcare facilities, communication with healthcare providers, trust in healthcare delivery, and quality of care. Other barriers include workforce shortages, health insurance, health literacy, and mental health (Mandal, 2019). Many minority groups lack adequate access to care due to a lack of sufficient health insurance coverage. Lack of insurance cover leads to delayed healthcare services and the inability to receive health services entirely. Lack of adequate financial resources is a barrier to healthcare for many US citizens and mostly among minority populations. These groups receive health insurance plans that limit healthcare services available to them and the number of healthcare providers they can access. Healthcare workforce shortages around the country impend access to care (Mandal, 2019). In many rural and inner cities, healthcare providers and facilities are often inadequate. The US community is diverse, with many racial, cultural, and ethnic groups. Therefore language differences are a barrier to access to healthcare services. Many healthcare providers speak English, and they experience challenges understanding a patient’s health condition when they speak a different language.(Limited Access to Healthcare Comprehensive Nursing Essay Example)

Geographical barriers to healthcare access include distance and transportation. Rural populations are more likely to experience travel issues to access healthcare services, especially those that need special care. They have a significant burden associated with travel time, cost, and time away from family and work (Mandal, 2019). Some geographical locations are difficult to access due to a lack of reliable public and private transportation. Rural areas also have many older adults with chronic health conditions that require frequent appointments with their care providers. Therefore, regular visits become a challenge when travel means are unreliable or costly. Health literacy affects an individual’s ability to understand health information and instructions from the provider. (Limited Access to Healthcare Comprehensive Nursing Essay Example)This problem is prevalent in rural areas with low educational levels and high poverty incidence. Low health literacy can discourage people from seeking healthcare services because they fear communicating with intellectual and professional providers. Navigating healthcare facilities can also be an issue with low health literacy. Social stigma and privacy issues can also be barriers to healthcare services access. Many people are reluctant to access care for sexual health, pregnancy, mental health, and substance abuse. According to Dassah et al. (2018), persons with disabilities (PWDs) experience more significant barriers to accessing healthcare services, especially those situated in rural areas. Information, geographic, and financial barriers can affect PWDs health outcomes negatively.(Limited Access to Healthcare Comprehensive Nursing Essay Example)

Potential Solutions to Limited Access to Healthcare

Healthcare access affects the well-being of the community. There various ways of improving access to care such as Medicaid expansion, increasing funding for the Children’s Health Insurance Program, stabilizing individual insurance, addressing workforce shortages, increasing efficiency of service delivery, and telehealth. The Kaiser Family Foundation Report indicated more than 76.1 million Medicaid beneficiaries in 2016. Despite this number, many Americans, especially in rural areas, continue to experience limited access to care due to financial problems. States should expand Medicaid coverage (Seo et al., 2019). It is also essential to stabilize individual insurance (Toscos et al., 2018). Fostering the health insurance marketplace would ensure low and moderate-income earners can secure affordable health insurance coverage. Insurance coverage expansion would include expanding premium tax credit eligibility, encouraging state innovation to support auto-enrollment and reinsurance, and opposing health insurance plans sale. Workforce shortages can be addressed by increasing the number of medical education slots, expanding financial support, and removing physical immigration barriers. Increasing workforce efficiency would encourage more people to utilize the available healthcare services. Medical liability reforms and reducing insurance regulatory burdens can help enhance service delivery efficiency.(Limited Access to Healthcare Comprehensive Nursing Essay Example)

Telehealth and remote patient monitoring are reliable and cost-efficient solutions to limited access to healthcare services. Telehealth is a digital health solution that can help address specialty shortages and geographic disparities (Donelan et al., 2019). Real-time virtual communication between patients and healthcare providers helps avoid unnecessary travels and enhance access to specialty care in remote areas. Virtual video visits are less costly and convenient, and patients are more willing to pay for them. Telehealth provides contemporary avenues for care delivery, utilizing real-time virtual communication. The advantages of telehealth include the convenience of care in rural areas, cost-efficiency, reduced illness spread, easy follow-up, time-saving, reduces cancellations, and physicians can reach more patients. The primary disadvantages of telehealth are associated with reliable internet access, the need for intelligent devices, generational differences, assessment limitations, patient data security, and legislative barriers, such as lack of solid telehealth guidelines.(Limited Access to Healthcare Comprehensive Nursing Essay Example)

Ethical Implications of Telehealth

Implementing telehealth throughout the country would need to address primary ethical pitfalls associated with remote patient monitoring, such as erosion of physician-patient relationship, concerns of patient privacy, and assumptions that telehealth is effective and can suit patients in all clinical situations (Langarizadeh et al., 2017)(Limited Access to Healthcare Comprehensive Nursing Essay Example). Telehealth also possesses challenges in controlling therapists’ and physicians’ efficiencies and managing the quality of service delivery. Other ethical issues include technological threats, the scope of practice, equitable access to technology, and patient consent. Telehealth’s ethical implications go beyond providers’ obligation to ensure privacy and confidentiality (Evan et al., 2016). The ethical pros of implementing telehealth, especially in rural healthcare facilities, include equitable access to healthcare services and specialty care, minimal health disparities between urban and rural communities, and improved quality of care in remote areas and inner cities. The ethical cons of adopting telehealth include the increased need to keep patient information safe and secure, controlling service delivery quality and efficiency, the limited scope of practice, equitable access to technology, and patient consent. It is vital to consider patient consent before assessment and treatment while adopting telehealth. Healthcare organizations need to first advocate for fast internet access in remote areas, telehealth guidelines, and professional regulation before implementing telehealth. Partnering with reliable technology companies to integrate and implement technology in these areas is critical. (Limited Access to Healthcare Comprehensive Nursing Essay Example)

Limited Access to Healthcare Comprehensive Nursing Essay Example


Dassah, E., Aldersey, H., McColl, M. A., & Davison, C. (2018). Factors affecting access to primary health care services for persons with disabilities in rural areas: a “best-fit” framework synthesis. Global health research and policy, 3(1), 1-13.(Limited Access to Healthcare Comprehensive Nursing Essay Example)

Donelan, K., Barreto, E. A., Sossong, S., Michael, C., Estrada, J. J., Cohen, A. B., … & Schwamm, L. H. (2019). Patient and clinician experiences with telehealth for patient follow-up care. Am J Manag Care, 25(1), 40-44.(Limited Access to Healthcare Comprehensive Nursing Essay Example)

Evan, H. D., Heather, M. W., Jamie, L. P., & Christopher, M. F. (2016). Chapter 13-Legal, Regulatory, and Ethical Issues in Telehealth Technology, Editor (s): James K. Luiselli, Aaron J. Fischer, Computer-Assisted and Web-Based Innovations in Psychology. Special Education, and Health, Academic Press, 339-363.(Limited Access to Healthcare Comprehensive Nursing Essay Example)

Huot, S., Ho, H., Ko, A., Lam, S., Tactay, P., MacLachlan, J., & Raanaas, R. (2019). Identifying barriers to healthcare delivery and access in the Circumpolar North: important insights for health professionals. International Journal of Circumpolar Health, 78(1), 1571385.

Langarizadeh, M., Moghbeli, F., & Aliabadi, A. (2017). Application of ethics for providing telemedicine services and information technology. Medical Archives, 71(5), 351.(Limited Access to Healthcare Comprehensive Nursing Essay Example)

Mandal, A. (2019). Disparities in Access to Health Care. Access to Healthcare Comprehensive Nursing Essay Example)

Seo, V., Baggett, T. P., Thorndike, A. N., Hull, P., Hsu, J., Newhouse, J. P., & Fung, V. (2019). Access to care among Medicaid and uninsured patients in community health centers after the Affordable Care Act. BMC health services research, 19(1), 1-6.(Limited Access to Healthcare Comprehensive Nursing Essay Example)

Toscos, T., Carpenter, M., Flanagan, M., Kunjan, K., & Doebbeling, B. N. (2018). Identifying successful practices to overcome access to care challenges in community health centers: a “positive deviance” approach. Health services research and managerial epidemiology, 5, 2333392817743406.(Limited Access to Healthcare Comprehensive Nursing Essay Example)

Limited Access to Healthcare Comprehensive Nursing Essay Example
Limited Access to Healthcare Comprehensive Nursing Essay Example

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