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Primary Care Provider

Having a usual source of health care improves health outcomes, reduces disparities between groups, and can lower health care costs. When people have a sustained relationship with a health care provider, especially a primary care provider, it leads to greater trust, better patient-provider communication, and an increased likelihood of receiving appropriate care. Regular check-ups and screenings can help diagnose and attend to diseases at earlier, more treatable stages (HP 2020 Access).

Findings in Santa Barbara County

Measure

Having a usual primary care provider was based on the following question: “Do you have one person you think of as your personal doctor or health care provider?” For those that answered “No,” the question was followed up with “Is there more than one, or is there no person who you think of as your personal doctor or health care provider?”

Table 14. Percentage of Adults Who Have One or More Usual Primary Health Care Provider(s) and Healthy People 2020 Target

2016 Santa Barbara
BRFSS
California*Health People 2020
Target
%(95% CI) % (95% CI)
Overall 72.5 (69.4–75.3) 74.5 (72.5–76.4)
Male 67.5 (62.6–71.8) 69.7 (66.9–72.4)
Female 77.4 (73.5–81.1) 79.2 (76.5–81.8)
83.9
Hispanic 58.1 (52.9–63.3) 62.1 (58.5–65.7)
Non-Hispanic White 82.5 (78.8–86.1) 82.2 (79.9–84.5)
Other 77.7 (67.9–87.6) NA

*2014 Behavioral Risk Factor Surveillance System.

Figure 40. Percentage of Adults Who Have a Usual Primary Health Care Provider in Santa Barbara County, by Age and Sex

Percentage of Adults Who Have a Usual Primary Health Care Provider in Santa Barbara County, by Age and SexClick to Enlarge

Figure 41. Percentage of Adults Who Have One or More Usual Primary Health Care Provider(s) in Santa Barbara County by Race/Ethnicity, Educational Attainment, and Income

 Percentage of Adults Who Have One or More Usual Primary Health Care Provider(s) in Santa Barbara County by Race/Ethnicity, Educational Attainment, and IncomeClick to Enlarge

Usual Primary Care Provider for Children and Health Disparities

The questionnaire asked adult respondents about whether their child has a usual primary care provider. Adults reported that overall, 89.2% of the children in their care had a usual primary care provider. Children in lower-income and Hispanic families, as well as those whose parent did not have a high school degree, were less likely to have a usual primary care provider.

Usual Primary Care Provider for Adults and Health Disparities

Santa Barbara County overall has a larger percentage of people with a usual primary provider than California, but both fall below the Healthy People 2020 target. Men are less likely than women to have a usual provider, and a smaller proportion of Hispanic people than non-Hispanic whites have a usual provider.

As with insurance, people in the youngest age group are least likely to have a regular health care provider and also less likely to have diabetes and heart disease. Fewer Hispanics, people without a high school degree, and those in the lowest income bracket have a regular doctor; these are the same groups who are least likely to have health care coverage.

Figure 42. Percentage of Santa Barbara County Adults Responding That They Did Not Have One or More Primary Health Care Providers, by County Subregion

 Percentage of Santa Barbara County Adults Responding That They Did Not Have One or More Primary Health Care Providers, by County SubregionClick to Enlarge

Factors and Health Outcomes Associated with a Lack of a Primary Care Provider

Figure 43 presents various individual, social, and environmental factors associated with not having a primary health care provider. It compares people without a primary care provider to all adults in the Santa Barbara County survey and Californians as a whole.

Figure 43. Health and Risk Factors of Adults in Santa Barbara County With No Primary Care Provider (27.5%), Compared With All Santa Barbara County Adults and Californians* as a Whole

Health and Risk Factors of Adults in Santa Barbara With No Primary Care Provider (27.5%), Compared With All Santa Barbara Adults and Californians* as a WholeClick to Enlarge

*Data for California are not available for all indicators

Santa Barbara County adults without a regular primary care provider are more likely to report higher rates of risky behaviors, such as physical inactivity and binge drinking. They are less likely to have a high school degree, more likely to experience housing and food insecurity, and have twice the rate of no health care coverage as Santa Barbara County and the state overall. Notably, a smaller percentage of adults with no usual primary care provider report chronic conditions, such as diabetes and heart disease, possibly because this group may not be receiving care and therefore are undiagnosed.

Key Opportunities for Population Health Improvement

What Businesses Can Do

  • Design benefit plans that provide incentives for primary care.1
  • Tie routine preventive care to employee incentives, such as additional health savings account funds for employees who have a routine annual exam or screening.2
  • Educate employees about wellness and primary care.3

http://www.businessgrouphealth.org/resources/topics/primary_care.cfm
http://www.businessgrouphealth.org/resources/topics/primary_care.cfm
http://www.businessgrouphealth.org/resources/topics/primary_care.cfm

What Healthcare Providers Can Do

  • Use the medical home model, in which personal physicians or teams coordinate primary care.4
  • Take cultural competency training to improve cultural understanding and develop skills to serve a diverse group of patients.5

http://www.countyhealthrankings.org/policies/quality-improvement-practice-coaches-primary-care
http://www.countyhealthrankings.org/policies/cultural-competence-training-health-care-professionals

What Individuals Can Do

  • Access an affordable healthcare center,6 such as Santa Barbara Neighborhood Clinics7 or Santa Barbara County Public Health Department’s Health Care Centers.8

https://findahealthcenter.hrsa.gov/?display=map&zip=Santa+Barbara+County&submit.x=0&submit.y=0
http://www.sbclinics.org/
http://cosb.countyofsb.org/phd/primarycare.aspx?id=19192

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