Improve Access to Health Care

Access to quality health care, especially primary care, is essential to improving an individual’s health and a community’s health as a whole. Primary care providers screen for major, health-related conditions and help manage chronic conditions. They also provide preventive services such as vaccinations, health screenings and routine exams.

Northland Health Alliance initiative to improve access to healthcare

Common barriers to access include:

• Lack of insurance
• High medical costs
• Limited number of physicians
• Literacy or language barriers
• Transportation and scheduling issues

How the NHA can help

The Northland Health Alliance (NHA) is dedicated to improving access to health care for Northland residents.

1. Provide resource information: The NHA is working to increase Northland residents’ awareness of appropriate and accessible health and wellness services

2. Increase available appointments: The NHA is working to increase the availability of appointments for children, adult primary care and prenatal patients in the Northland, focusing on uninsured and underinsured residents

Current Resources

See our NHA Resources Page, Provider Directory or After Hours Care Map for help finding healthcare.

The Clay County and Platte County health departments provide lists of primary care clinics for Northland residents, including the uninsured and Medicaid populations

Northland Health Care Access assists those without insurance in the Northland by connecting them to health care and dental care services

► The ease with which an individual can obtain needed health services in a timely manner.
Factors that can impact access:

  • Health insurance coverage or lack of coverage
  • Affordability of medical costs
  • Transportation
  • Number of physicians in our community
  • Convenience (locations and hours)
  • Household income
  • Literacy levels
  • Language barriers
  • Other social factors

► Access to primary care is limited, especially for low or no income families

  • Rural access is limited; approximately a quarter Northland residents live in rural communities
  • Low or no income female heads of households have little or no access to primary care
  • Low birth weights and mortality occur more frequently in non-white infants in the Northland

► Access to dental care, especially for the uninsured or underinsured

    • Data provided by the three Northland hospitals identifies disorders of the teeth and dental cavities among the top ten leading diagnoses for emergency room visits for self pay patients
    • Currently dental benefits for adults are not covered under Medicaid.