New Spotlight: Prevention Report Reveals Hispanics Access Preventive Care Less Than Other Populations

February 26, 2016
  • United Health Foundation report examines prevention measures through health care access, immunizations and chronic-disease prevention

  • Identifies disparities related to race, geography, income and education

  • Finds New England states score well across all three prevention categories

  • Provides data-driven insights for stakeholders and communities

Hispanics are accessing preventive care less than non-Hispanic whites and non-Hispanic blacks – that's one of the findings in America's Health Rankings® Spotlight: Prevention, a new report from United Health Foundation released today in partnership with the American College of Preventive Medicine (ACPM).

The 2016 America's Health Rankings Spotlight: Prevention took an in-depth look at prevention measures across all 50 states through the lenses of health care access, immunizations and chronic-disease prevention. United Health Foundation's America's Health Rankings platform provides actionable, data-driven insights that stakeholders can use to effect change in a state or nationally.

The spotlight report found that:

Use of clinical preventive services is uneven and varies by race, income, education and geography.

  • A lower percentage of Hispanic adults report having a dedicated health care provider (59.2%), compared with non-Hispanic white (82.1%) and non-Hispanic black (76.5%) adults. A lower percentage of Hispanic adults also receive colorectal cancer screenings and cholesterol screenings.
  • Adults with higher levels of education and income receive a greater percentage of recommended screenings than adults with lower levels of education and income. For example, adults making at least $75,000 annually receive recommended screenings at a higher percentage than adults with incomes less than $25,000 per year.
  • Immunization rates vary among states. For example, childhood immunization rates range from 84.7% in Maine to 63.4% in West Virginia, and adult influenza immunization rates range from 50.2% in South Dakota to 31.7% in Florida.

Health care access is strongly associated with overall prevention.

  • States that score well on access measures tend to perform well across a range of preventive-health metrics.
  • For example, having a dedicated health care provider is highly correlated with receiving recommended colorectal cancer screenings.

States that score well in one prevention category generally score well across the other two categories, suggesting the importance of taking a holistic view of prevention activities.

  • New England states tend to excel in prevention activities across all three categories and may serve as a potential source for best practices.

"Prevention is one of the cornerstones of public health. The findings of this report are a call to action to ensure that all Americans, regardless of race, income, geography or education, have the opportunity to live whole, healthy and complete lives," said Reed Tuckson, M.D., external senior medical adviser to United Health Foundation. "Hispanics, who represent one of the largest and fastest-growing segments of the population in the United States, will face serious health challenges if we don't find a way to improve their access to and use of preventive health care services. It's the work we do now that will not only save lives but also billions of dollars in health care costs long-term."

"We have a strong and growing body of clinical evidence pointing to the fact that preventive services and interventions work to improve people's health and well-being, all while lowering overall health care system costs," said Daniel S. Blumenthal, M.D., M.P.H, president of the American College of Preventive Medicine. "The members of American College of Preventive Medicine have been on the frontlines of developing and delivering comprehensive preventive care strategies for more than half a century, and we are pleased to collaborate with United Health Foundation to increase understanding of the important prevention-related issues that require our continued focus as a nation."

To read the report and other materials, including visual illustrations, visit: www.americashealthrankings.org/spotlight/prevention