Healthy People 2020 is a program of the Department of Health and Human Services that benchmarks and monitors the health progress of the Americans with a 10-year national health objectives. Among its priorities is to identify health disparity issues among a diverse group of people in the community. Health disparity occurs when a health difference exists due to socio-economic and environmental disadvantages (Healthy People 2020, 2010). One of the current health issues from Healthy People 2020 that may be related to my practice area involves the lack of access to health care and services in the rural areas. About 20% of the US rural population is uninsured and it is expected to grow by 2019. Bailey (2010) pointed out that the people living in the rural areas need access to insurance health coverage because they do not receive enough preventive care services with a higher prevalence rate of chronic diseases occurring in this population. About 17% of the rural population consists of minorities with reported poor health with high susceptibility to serious diseases like AIDS/HIV or cancers. This health disparity is very common among the Hispanic White cultural minorities (HHS Action Plan to Reduce Racial and Ethnic Health Disparities).
This health disparity brings the rural community members at a disadvantaged situation especially when there is a shortage of doctors providing health care services to the uninsured individuals belonging to this group. A strategy that can be helpful in reducing the health disparity occurring in the rural population is the implementation of community based health programs that will be made accessible among the cultural minorities. The said patient population will be able to access basic health care services including preventive health programs with community nurses being involved in the frontline services. The basic health care services that they will receive including the preventive care against chronic diseases will help reduce the societal burden of these group to the community in general. Potential reduction in health care cost will be achieved because basic health services are made accessible to this uninsured group which prevents the risks of getting more serious chronic diseases that can be more problematic and costly for the public healthcare programs of the government.
Bailey, J.M. (2010). Why health reform can’t wait: The benefits of health reforms in rural America. Center for Rural Affairs. Retrieved from http://www.cfra.org/10/cant-wait.
Healthy People 2020 (2010). Disparities. Retrieved from http://www.healthypeople.gov/2020/about/disparitiesAbout.aspx.
HHS Action Plan to Reduce Racial and Ethnic Health Disparities. A nation free of disparities in health and health care. Retrieved from http://minorityhealth.hhs.gov/npa/files/Plans/HHS/HHS_Plan_complete.pdf