One in five Kentucky households delay or forgo medical care because of the cost, according to the latest Kentucky Health Issues Poll, taken Aug. 26 through Oct. 21.
The poll also found that more Kentucky adults do not use a regular doctor, health clinic or other appropriate source of health care than they reported in 2009, the first time the poll asked such questions, “but that hasn’t necessarily translated into more visits to inappropriate sources such as emergency room or urgent-care-clinic visits,” the foundation said.
In the poll, 24 percent of Kentucky adults said they do not have a usual place to go for health care, compared to 18 percent in 2009. “About 8 percent of Kentucky adults said they go to the emergency room or an urgent-care center when they need care, a figure that has remained steady since 2009,” the foundation said.
“Going to the same place for medical care, a place that knows you and your medical history, is key to maintaining good health and preventing chronic disease,” Chandler said. “You’re more likely to have regular wellness visits, immunizations and health screenings and to avoid dangerous medication interactions and preventable hospital admissions when you have both health insurance and a regular care provider. The fact that those living on low incomes are less likely to have either of these is another example of how poverty often leads to poorer health.”
The telephone poll of Kentucky adults is also funded by Interact for Health, a Cincinnati-area foundation. Its margin of error is plus or minus 2.5 percentage points.