Health Care Utilization Paper: Option B

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Pages: 5

Health Care Utilization Paper: Option B The number of health care services people use determines health care utilization. John Q is facing a situation that is far too common these days. He is in need of health care services; however, factors beyond his control are preventing him from getting the help he needs. There are many factors that can affect health care utilization, including demographics, social structure, and insurance status. Barsukiewicz, Raffel, and Raffel state that these factors are either mutable and can be changed or immutable and therefore cannot be changed (2010). For instance, age, gender, and ethnicity are immutable factors, whereas income, insurance status, and transportation are mutable factors. Both …show more content…
Some communities also provide health care resources, such as transportation and free clinics to those who do not have the means to get to their doctor or cannot afford it. Other mutable risk factors may include excessive alcohol use, smoking tobacco, poor eating habits, lack of physical activity, and obesity. Each of these factors can increase risk for chronic illnesses, such as cardiovascular disease, diabetes, or cancer. Obesity, on its own is a risk factor for some of the leading causes of preventable death. According to "Centers For Disease Control And Prevention" (2012), " Between 1988–1994 and 2007–2008 the prevalence of obesity increased in adults at all income and education levels” (Obesity and socioeconomic status). Fortunately, these mutable factors are within each individual’s control. Committing to a healthy diet, exercise plan, avoiding tobacco products, and excessive alcohol use are all ways that one can change these mutable factors, therefore minimizing the need for increased health care utilization and costs. John Q is enrolled in Medicaid, he lives 40 minutes from the nearest participating health care provider, has no means of transportation, a history of high blood pressure, and a father who has had a recent heart attack. These are a combination of both mutable and immutable factors, which will affect his health care utilization. Without the help of his community he may not be able to see a health