A Cross-sectional Study on Healthcare Barriers Experienced by WellMed Patients at the University of North Texas Health Science Center Geriatric Clinic

dc.creatorMartinez, Maria Francesca Ysabelleen_US
dc.creatorNgo, Wayneen_US
dc.creatorGarfield, Tysonen_US
dc.creator.orcid0000-0002-2744-6833 (Martinez, Maria Francesca Ysabelle)
dc.creator.orcid0000-0002-8428-1510 (Ngo, Wayne)
dc.description.abstractWellMed is Medicare advantage plan geared towards helping aging patients receive high quality healthcare at low cost. WellMed is available to Medicare eligible patients and dual eligible Medicare/Medicaid in Texas or Florida, with the University of North Texas Health Science Center (UNTHSC) geriatric clinic being one of the few centers in the area accepting the insurance. During the pandemic, it has become clear that access to care is a barrier for aging and underinsured patients, and a better understanding of what the barriers these patients face will help facilitate improved quality of care. A cross-sectional survey using Qualtrics was administered to WellMed patients at the UNTHSC geriatric clinic during regular clinic hours from June-July 2022. A total of 36 in-person surveys were administered and completed. The self-reported survey consisted of 23 multiple choice and fill-in questions that elicited information on wellness and potential healthcare barriers. A comparison between each variable and patient zip code was made. Looking at the responses to patient perceived healthcare barriers, 59.4% of respondents reported no barriers, 21.2% stated location of clinic, 12.1% lacked transportation, 12.1% found the appointment system difficult to use, and 6.1% had inadequate finances. Of note, incompatible clinical hours and lack of support for languages other than English were not perceived as barriers. For the fill-in "other barriers not listed” option, 5.6% stated the telephone system not being adequate for communication to the staff and doctors, and 2.8% cited problems with the patient portal. A total of 24 different zip codes were collected. When correlating each barrier with zip code, clinic location and lack of transport correlated with areas on the edge of Tarrant County. No particular relationship between zip code and other outcome measures were observed. Access to care is a social determinant of health that is cited as a cause of decreased health outcomes. In Tarrant County 22% of adults are uninsured and the ratio of primary care physicians to patients is 1:1690. This study elucidates health barriers WellMed patients in the county are facing. Addressing these barriers patients can experience improved quality of healthcare and easier access to necessary care.en_US
dc.titleA Cross-sectional Study on Healthcare Barriers Experienced by WellMed Patients at the University of North Texas Health Science Center Geriatric Clinicen_US