Cao, S., Gentili, M.4, Griffin, P., Serban, N. (Submitted May 2016) Small-Area Estimation of Spatial Access to Pediatric Preventive Dental Care and Its Implications for Policy, under review.

Which communities are in need of improvement in access to pediatric primary care services?

Appropriate access to preventive health services, or primary care, can result in less disparate outcomes, reduced costs by preventing medical crises, and lower emergency room utilization to treat preventable conditions. An individual’s health trajectory in childhood influences their lifelong risk of chronic diseases in ways difficult to change in adulthood. Understanding the disparities in healthcare access to pediatric primary care can suggest targeted interventions aligned with recent major federal policy developments. In our research, we match children to providers while accounting for their locations, need, and system limits. The accompanying map marks the served (≥80% of children are assigned to a provider), underserved (50-80% assigned), and unserved (<50% assigned) communities in Georgia. A similar analysis was conducted for other states.

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