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The Medically Vulnerable: Their Health Risks, Health Status, and Use of Physician Care
Abstract

Abstract:

Employing the Andersen/Neuman model of health behavior, this research compares the medically vulnerable (elderly, poor, and uninsured) with their less vulnerable counterparts with regard to (1) health and disability status, (2) likelihood of physician use, and (3) (among users) amount of physician use. Data were from the Oklahoma Behavioral Risk Factor Surveillance Survey and the Area Resource File. Findings indicate that the medically vulnerable are more likely to be disabled and to experience poorer health than the nonmedically vulnerable. The uninsured are less likely to have seen a physician in the past year. Among those who have seen a physician in the past year, the uninsured and Medicare recipients without supplemental insurance experienced fewer physician visits. The results point to inequalities in the distribution of physician care that may be exacerbated by federal policies that are currently under consideration.