- Health care eligibility and availability and health care reform: Are we addressing rural women’s barriers to accessing care?
- Journal of Health Care for the Poor and Underserved
- Johns Hopkins University Press
- Volume 27, Number 4, November 2016 Supplement
- pp. 204-219
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Background. Rural populations in the U.S. face numerous barriers to health care access. The Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (PPACA) was developed in part to reduce health care access barriers. We report rural women’s access barriers and the PPACA elements that address these barriers as well as potential gaps.
Methods. For this qualitative study, we analyzed two datasets using a common framework. We used content analysis to understand rural, focus group participants’ access barriers prior to PPACA implementation. Subsequently, we analyzed the PPACA text.
Results. Participants described health care access barriers in two domains: availability and eligibility. The PPACA proposes solutions within each domain, including health care workforce training, Medicaid expansion, and employer-based health care provisions. However, in rural settings, access barriers likely persist.
Discussion. While elements of the PPACA address some health care access barriers, additional research and policy development are needed to comprehensively and equitably address persistent access barriers for rural women.