Why is this so important?
It can take 4 to 10 weeks for low-income individuals to see a doctor at existing medical providers.
At least 40% of emergency room visits at BryanLGH Medical Center not resulting in admission were for visits that could have been treated in a physician's office or prevented by appropriate treatment.1
Recent US studies show that wait times in hospital emergency rooms increased 36% between 1997 and 2004, with many visits related to the lack of care for chronic illnesses among uninsured and under-insured people.
74% of homeless and near-homeless men did not have a regular physician.2
Top barriers to receiving health care were cost of service (70%), and cost of medication (51%).2
23% used the emergency room as their primary source for health services.2
More than 1 in 5 Nebraskans earning less than 200% of the Federal Poverty Level had no health insurance.3
14% of uninsured Nebraskans did not get needed care in the past year.3
12.3% of Nebraskans had no healthcare coverage in 2007 (up from 9.2% in 2000).5
1 in 4 Nebraskans were without coverage during part of the year.6
71% of those without insurance are employed.4
Those most likely to lack access to health care in Nebraska include:3
• Single heads of households with children under age 5.
• Children (21% of uninsured).
• Single adults under age 65.
• Minorities (29% not covered).
11% of Nebraskans live in poverty.
23% of female-headed households live in poverty.
36% of Nebraska children live at or below 200% of the poverty line.
Prompt treatment of minor medical needs and ongoing management of chronic health conditions will improve the health and wellness of uninsured residents of Lincoln. By providing holistic care and patient advocacy, low-income community members will better deal with health concerns that have kept them from living a healthy, self-sufficient life.
• Timely treatment of routine illnesses and minor injuries
• Maintenance of chronic conditions
• Preventive care
• Earlier detection and treatment of health problems
• Improved access to specialty care
• Help in applying for appropriate medical coverage or assistance
• Better health will contribute to improved job stability for low-wage-earners
People's City Mission served nearly 2,000 homeless men, women, and children with shelter and another 20,000 low-income residents of Lincoln with food, clothing and household items in 2007. Almost 825,000 meals were given away during the year.
1Assessment of the Safety Net in Lincoln, March 2004
2Blueprint Project, www.CHELincoln.org, 2002
3UNMC Dept of Preventive & Societal Medicine's Nebraska Center for Rural Health Research, Dec. 2004
4Nebraska Health Information Survey Vol. 6 Issue 1, 2006
5United Health Foundation Call to Action Report, 2007
6Going Without Health Insurance, Families USA Foundation Report, 2003