Effect of the economic recession on primary care access for the homeless

Brandi M. White, Walter J. Jones, William P. Moran, Kit N. Simpson

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

2 Scopus citations


Primary care access (PCA) for the homeless can prove challenging, especially during periods of economic distress. In the United States, the most recent recession may have presented additional barriers to accessing care. Limited safety- net resources traditionally used by the homeless may have also been used by the non- homeless, resulting in delays in seeking treatment for the homeless. Using hospitalizations for ambulatory care sensitivity (ACS) conditions as a proxy measure for PCA, this study investigated the recession’s impact on PCA for the homeless and non- homeless in four states. The State Inpatient Databases were used to identify ACS admissions. Findings from this study indicate the recession was a barrier to PCA for homeless people who were uninsured. Ensuring that economically- disadvantaged populations have the ability to obtain insurance coverage is crucial to facilitating PCA. With targeted outreach efforts, the Affordable Care Act provides an opportunity for expanding coverage to the homeless.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1577-1591
Number of pages15
JournalJournal of Health Care for the Poor and Underserved
Issue number3
StatePublished - Aug 1 2016

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2016 Meharry Medical College.


  • Access to care
  • Homeless
  • Primary care
  • Recession

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health


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