Authors: Filiberto Asare-Akuffo*, Florida State University
Topics: Medical and Health Geography, Spatial Analysis & Modeling, Location Theory
Keywords: Medicaid, Geographic Access, Oral Healthcare, Health Equity
Session Type: Paper
Start / End Time: 3:05 PM / 4:45 PM
Room: Marshall South, Marriott, Mezzanine Level
Presentation File: No File Uploaded
Access to dental care is essential to the general well-being of people. According to the American Dental Association (ADA), oral health is associated with diabetes, stroke, low birth weight infant, and heart diseases. Approximately 19% of diabetic patients are also diagnosed with gum diseases. Frequent visits to the dentist will prevent oral disease, promote oral health and improve general well-being. However, many people do not benefit from dental services because they lack sufficient finances and geographic access to a dentist. As a way of improving access to oral health for children and low-income populations, the US federal government provide dental coverage through the Medicaid programs for these population sub-groups. But providing financial access does not equate to geographic access. This study seeks to explore the policy implication of the Medicaid program on geographic access to oral health and how variations in access may be influenced by population characteristics and socioeconomic status. The study applies an enhanced two-step floating catchment area method that integrates availability, accessibility, affordability, and accommodation dimensions of access to a case study area of Tampa-Clearwater-St Petersburg MSA, Florida.