Encyclopedia of Gerontology and Population Aging

Living Edition
| Editors: Danan Gu, Matthew E. Dupre

Access to Care

Living reference work entry
DOI: https://doi.org/10.1007/978-3-319-69892-2_1096-1



The Institute of Medicine defines access to healthcare as “timely use of personal health services to achieve the best health outcomes” (1993, p. 33). Guided by this definition, Healthy People 2020, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s 10-year national objectives for improving the health of Americans, has proposed three components that make up access to care. These components are insurance coverage, usual source of services, and workforce availability (Office of Disease Prevention and Health Promotion [ODPHP] 2016). In short, in order to have adequate access to care, an individual must be able to gain entry into the system by having health insurance, to obtain regular preventative and curative care in a timely and consistent manner, and to appropriate such services locally from qualified providers. The term “care” is broad-ranging; it includes health promotion, disease...

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Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.School of Social WorkUniversity of Central FloridaOrlandoUSA

Section editors and affiliations

  • Karen L. Fortuna
    • 1
  • Nazmi Sari
    • 2
  1. 1.Geisel School of MedicineDartmouth CollegeHanoverUSA
  2. 2.Department of EconomicsUniversity of SaskatchewanSaskatoonCanada