Regular health care is important for good health. People with a usual and appropriate place for healthcare have better health
outcomes and fewer health disparities than those who do not.1 According to the most recent Ohio Health Issues Poll, seven in 10 Ohio adults (71 percent) reported having a usual and appropriate place for care. This compares with 1 in 10 (9 percent) who reported having a usual but inappropriate place and 2 in 10 (18 percent) who reported having no usual place for care. These percentages have not changed since the last time these questions were asked in 2012.
The poll is sponsored by Interact for Health, an independent, healthfocused foundation that serves 20 counties in Ohio, Kentucky and Indiana.
Appropriate places for regular or preventive care include private doctor’s offices, community-based health centers and public health clinics, clinics at retail stores, and hospital outpatient departments. Inappropriate places for care include hospital emergency rooms, urgent care centers and other places.
OHIP asked respondents how long it had been since their last routine checkup. Eight in 10 Ohio adults (79 percent) reported having a routine checkup in the past year. About 1 in 10 adults (13 percent) reported having a routine checkup within the past two to five years, and just under 1 in 10 (8 percent) have not had a routine checkup in more than five years.
OHIP also asked respondents to rate their own health as excellent, very good, good, fair or poor. In 2017, 5 in 10 Ohio adults (49 percent) rated their own health as excellent or very good, 3 in 10 (34 percent) rated their health as good, and 2 in 10 (17 percent) rated their health as only fair or poor. These measures have remained relatively stable over time.
Interact for Health emphasizes importance of regular health care access to quality healthcare promotes and maintains health and prevents disease, disability and premature death. Building a personal relationship with an appropriate healthcare provider promotes healthy behaviors and the use of preventive services.
“The poll suggests that Ohioans have not progressed in finding a usual and appropriate place for care,” says O’dell Moreno Owens, M.D., M.P.H., President/CEO, Interact for Health. “The data do not tell us why, but this may point out potential gaps in capacity, the ability to access an appropriate or convenient place for care, and the need for further education about the value of a regular care provider.”
Innovative models that address barriers to preventive care are growing, including school-based health centers (SBHC). Local medical providers partner with schools to operate a health center which provide preventive and illness care within the school to students, and sometimes to teachers and families.
More than 60 SBHCs currently operate across Ohio. For locations or more information locally visit www.growingwell.org.
More information about Ohioans' health care use and general health status, and other topics, is at www.interactforhealth.org/ohio-health-issues-poll.
The 2017 Ohio Health Issues Poll is funded by Interact for Health. OHIP was conducted June 18 to July 30, 2017, by the Institute for Policy Research at the University of Cincinnati. A random sample of 836 adults from throughout Ohio was interviewed by telephone. This included 430 landline telephone interviews and 406 cell phone interviews. In 95 of 100 cases, statewide estimates will be accurate to ± 3.4%. There are other sources of variation inherent in public opinion studies, such as non-response, question wording, or context effects that can introduce error or bias. For more information about the Ohio Health Issues Poll, please visit www.interactforhealth.org/ohio-health-issues-poll.
Interact for Health builds healthy communities for all people. We serve as a catalyst for health and wellness by promoting healthy living through grants, education, research, policy and engagement. Interact for Health is an independent foundation that serves 20 counties in Ohio, Kentucky and Indiana. More information is available on our website, www.interactforhealth.org.
1. Healthy People 2020. (2016). Access of Health Services. Accessed Dec. 4, 2017.
Interact for Health regularly conducts research and collects data in order to monitor and evaluate our region’s health status and to measure public opinions about health policy.
Our Health in Action stories highlight the innovative work our grantees are doing to help reduce tobacco use, address the opioid epidemic and ensure that children can access health care through school-based health centers. We also interview people working on those issues at other organizations across the country to learn what works for them.
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