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Spatial Accessibility of Primary Care Facilities in Texas

Authors: Mei Yang*, Texas State University, F. Benjamin Zhan, Texas State University, T. Edwin Chow, Texas State University
Topics: Medical and Health Geography
Keywords: Spatial Accessibility, Primary Care, Texas, GIS, Urbanization, Disability
Session Type: Poster
Presentation File: No File Uploaded

Since the 19th century, access to healthcare provider in the US has been recognized as a significant barrier. Access to primary care has been recognized as one of the most important variables in the assessment of the health of general population. This study attempts to first identify the variations of spatial accessibility to primary care facilities at the census tract level in Texas. And then explore the relationships between spatial accessibility and socioeconomic and demographic factors. These factors include insurance, disability, education and urbanization. The integrated Floating Catchment Area (iFCA) Method was used to calculate an index reflecting spatial accessibility at a location. Spearman’s correlations were used to quantify the correlations of spatial accessibility with neighborhood socioeconomic and demographic factors. The results show that higher Primary Care (PC) accessibility were in or around major cities such as Dallas, Austin, San Antonio and Houston. West Texas and rural areas in Texas have significant lower PC accessibility than east Texas, central Texas, and urban areas in Texas. Only 4.33 % areas in Texas belong to hot spots (high values) of PC accessibility and 4.35 percent of total population live in high PC accessibility areas. A higher ratio of urbanization and lower ratio of disability contributed to a higher ratio of PC accessibility at the census tract level. Health provider and policy maker should work together to achieve more equitable access to PC facilities and improve the access in west Texas and in rural area.

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