Insurance, access cited as York health care concerns

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A Community Health Conversation was held at Martin Library on Feb. 23, 2017, sponsored by Family First Health, the York Daily Record and WITF.

York Daily Record, WITF and Family First Health sponsored a York City Community Health Conversation on Thursday

About 60 people turned out Thursday night for a discussion at Martin Library about the state of health care in York.

The York City Community Health Conversation was sponsored by the York Daily Record, WITF and Family First Health.

The speakers included Dr. Matthew Howie, medical director of the York City Bureau of Health, Family First Health CEO Jenny Englerth and Catherine Edwards, Nurse Family Partnership Supervisor at Family First Health.

The 90-minute event covered a range of topics. Here are three key takeaways:

1. Lack of health insurance is an issue

In York city, 17.2 percent of residents don’t have insurance, compared with 8.7 percent for York County as a whole, according to a survey conducted for Community First Health.

2. Access to mental health services is limited

It’s a particular problem for York city residents. In York, there is one mental health provider for every 2,207 residents. That’s worse than in York County as a whole, where the ratio is one for every 1,587 residents. Statewide, the ratio is one for every 837 residents.

3. Access is often an income issue

The average York city resident has a household income that’s just over half the countywide average: $37,917 compared with $72,535.

The city’s poverty rate also is higher than that for York County: 34.6 percent of York residents age 18 to 64 live below the poverty line, compared with 9.5 percent of York County residents.

That income disparity means many York residents don’t have the money to pay for a doctor visit or pay for childcare to enable them to get to a medical appointment.

They may not have transportation to a doctor’s office, or the ability to pay for the lab tests and prescriptions that are prescribed.

“We’ve done a really bad job about being transparent about costs,” Englerth said.

Few patients feel comfortable telling their doctor they can’t afford to follow up on what the doctor prescribes, Howie said.

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Through a community health market research study, commissioned by Family First Health and conducted by TrippUmbach, we’re able to see key findings that paint a detailed picture of challenges in York and provide a starting point for the conversations
Sean Heisey, York Daily Record

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Insurance, access cited as York health care concerns

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