Stumbling Block to Specialists

Approximately 99 million adults in the U.S. have one or more chronic health conditions such as arthritis, asthma, diabetes, emphysema, high blood pressure, ischemic heart disease or stroke. Among these, about half report needing to see a specialist

However, new Government research reveals that 1:12 US adults have difficulty accessing a health care specialist.

For those without a family physician, or without insurance, the problem is even worse. Among these groups, 1:6 reported access difficulties.

Surprisingly, adults aged 25-44 were more than twice as likely as adults age 65 and over to perceive problems in gaining access to a specialist (10.2 % v. 4.2 %)

Unfortunately, the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality didn’t ask why access was a problem, nor did they offer any solutions for overcoming access issues.

Word on Health would like to hear from you if you’ve had difficulty reaching a specialist or if you’re a specialist with insights into this problem.