Title

In Search of a New Paradigm for Health Care: Consumer Perceptions of Provider Accessibility and Utilization

Date of Degree

12-2004

Document Type

Dissertation

Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)

Program

Education

Advisor

Robert L. Ryan

Advisor

Annette Craven

Advisor

James Sorensen

Advisor

Nursen Zanca

Abstract

the purpose of this study was to reveal patient perceptions of provider accessibility and utilization based upon demographic variables and the type of health insurance plan the patient maintains.

Escalating health costs and the lack o f ability among members of the population to pay for these services demands the discovery of viable methods of providing affordable and equitable health care delivery. An analysis of patient access to services indicated that there is a perceived disparity rather than equality in accessibility and utilization. Therefore, the purpose of this study was to reveal patient perceptions of provider accessibility and utilization based upon demographic variables and the type of health insurance plan the patient maintains. A survey instrument was used to investigate consumer responses to identified demographic variables of health care accessibility and utilization. This quantitative study includes a sample of current health care consumers at providers in a metropolitan city in the Southern United States in which there is a diverse demographic profile. The Consumer Assessment o f Health Plans Survey (CAHPS), which is the primary instrumentation, has instrumentation, has been used as a national benchmark for studies sponsored by the National Committee for Quality Assurance and the Health Care Financing Administration. The instrument was modified from its original version to capture socio-economic variables as well as a complete translation to Spanish as spoken in the region. The results o f the study provide insight into how patient perceptions may be enhanced with equitable approaches to health care delivery systems and changes in provider and health insurance business models as seen today. This knowledge may be generalized to provide recommendations for health care delivery systems offered in other cities with similar demographic profiles.

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