Access to Health Care: Bridging the Gap Between Policy and Research


Publication Date: April 1997

Publisher: Center for Studying Health System Change

Author(s): Heidi H. Whitmore

Research Area: Health

Type: Brief


Access to care has long been studied by researchers, but emphasis has shifted recently from measuring whether access is worse for the poor and uninsured to monitoring how access is changing over time. Only a limited number of measures have been used consistently to monitor changes longitudinally, and these suggest that access by the uninsured is declining. There are potentially more valuable measures to track access, but data that are consistent over time have not been available. This Issue Brief, which is based on a seminar held by the Center for Studying Health System Change, discusses current research efforts to measure access to care.