Health care access and utilization in older versus younger homeless adults

Division of Gerontology, Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center, USA.
Journal of Health Care for the Poor and Underserved (Impact Factor: 1.1). 08/2010; 21(3):1060-70. DOI: 10.1353/hpu.0.0344
Source: PubMed


To examine whether demographic characteristics, health care access, and acute health care utilization differ by age among homeless adults.
We interviewed all 2,175 adult attendees of a citywide homeless outreach event.
Older participants were more likely than younger participants to have a regular place for health care (59.8% vs. 44.3%, p<.01), a regular health care provider (53.6% vs. 35.6%, p<.01), and health insurance (45.5% vs. 32.1%, p<.01). Older participants were less likely to be unable to obtain needed health care (15.6% vs. 20.9%, p=.05). In a multivariate analysis, only lack of health insurance predicted inability to obtain needed care (AOR 2.9, CI 1.76-4.8).
Older and younger homeless adults have similarly high rates of acute health care utilization. The better access to care among older homeless adults speaks to the importance of insurance in determining access to care among homeless adults.

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Available from: Margot Kushel, Oct 21, 2014
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    • "From this analysis, we can conclude that health care disparities exist within the homeless population. Health care disparities among the homeless population have been described in other studies [12,14,15]. Socioeconomic status of the homeless was consistently found to influence their utilization of health care. "
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