Costs and Consequences of Poor Care Access
Delays in access to healthcare and extended wait times have been found to be associated with multiple consequences including, but not limited: to poorer health outcomes, financial burden from seeking non-network care, higher rates of appointment no-shows, unnecessary emergency department visits, frustration, inconvenience, and dissatisfaction with the healthcare system. While preventing delays and reducing wait times are particularly critical for many health services, to improve or optimize access by any method requires understanding what defines bad access and how its consequences are quantified.
This project aims to develop a methodology to better understand, define and quantify poor access to care and its consequences on cost, flow, and patient health, responding to the recent institute of medicine Access to Care report. The purpose of this project therefore is to design and conduct an analytic study of consequences of delayed care.
We conducted a literature review on timeliness of lung cancer diagnosis and treatment and found many patients are facing longer than recommended times to receive core. We are also conducting analysis on geographic access to skin cancer and lung cancer core in Maine.