Tag Archives: SC Health

South Carolina Health at a Glance: Access to Healthcare

Our next installment of the 2018 Live Healthy State Health Assessment summaries covers access to healthcare.  Because the document is 346 pages, we will summarize each section.  Check out our previous posts:  overview of the report, South Carolina demographics, leading causes of death and hospitalization, and cross-cutting.  Data is analyzed from 2010-2016.

Access to health care refers to the ability of residents in a community to find a consistent medical provider for their primary and specialty care needs and ability to receive that care without encountering significant barriers.  Special populations who may face unique barriers include those who are experiencing homelessness or mental illness, lacking adequate health insurance, or non-English speakers such as some immigrants and refugees.

Primary Care Physicians

Primary care physicians specialize in family medicine, internal medicine, obstetrics/gynecology, and pediatrics.  They provide preventative care, identify and treat common conditions, and make referrals to specialists as needed.  Typically people with familiar primary care physicians have better chronic disease management, lower overall health care costs, and a higher level of satisfaction with their care.

According to America’s Health Rankings, in 2017, South Carolina ranked 36th in the nation for the number of primary care physicians per 10,000 residents.  The counties with the highest rates of primary care physicians in 2015 were Charleston, Greenwood, and Greenville.

Physician Assistants

Physician assistants are certified medical professionals who can give medical and surgical care in teams with physicians.  They can practice under the direction of a physician to diagnose, treat, and prescribe medicine.  The ratio of physician assistants increased from 1.5 physician assistants per 10,000 residents in 2009 to 2.5 physician assistants per 10,000 residents in 2015.

Nurse Practitioners

Nurse practitioners have clinical knowledge and skills to provide direct patient care.  They have the authority to prescribe medications and can also be utilized in rural communities, which often lack primary care providers.  South Carolina saw a 50% increase in the ratio of nurse practitioners from 2009 to 2015.

Health Insurance Coverage Among Adults

The Kaiser Family Foundation estimated 550,000 South Carolinians were without health insurance in 2016.  Although the number of insured adults in South Carolina increased from 2008 to 2015, the rate was below the United States, as well as the Healthy People 2020 target.  In 2015, 85.7% of South Carolina women were insured compared to 81.6% of men.

Health Care Insurance_Health Assessment

Delayed Medical Care

Worse health outcomes and higher medical expenditures are often results of delayed medical care.  Late diagnosis and advanced disease may require more extensive services.  Being insured and having access to affordable medical care could increase utilization of preventive health care services.

Delayed medical care_Health assessment

In South Carolina in 2016, 21.2% of Hispanic/Latinos delayed healthcare due to cost, compared to 18.8% of non-Hispanic Blacks and 13.7% of non-Hispanic Whites.  More women delayed medical care due to cost than men.

For more information about avoidable hospitalizations and emergency department visits, the leading causes of hospitalizations among children, and oral health, read the full chapter about Access to Health Care.

 

South Carolina Health at a Glance: Leading Causes of Death and Hospitalizations

Released in 2018, the assessment analyzes major health statistics to address health concerns and uncover possible outcomes. Because the document is approximately 346 pages, we will summarize key points in upcoming blog posts.  So far we have given an overview of the report and covered South Carolina demographics.

The next installment of the 2018 Live Healthy State Health Assessment summary covers the leading causes of death and hospitalizations for South Carolina residents.

Why is finding this information important?

Monitoring types of hospitalizations provides information about health conditions that affect our state.  Programs can be created and implemented to reduce the prevalence of certain preventable causes of hospitalization.  Leading causes of death describe the health profile of a population, which sets priorities for health policy makers and evaluates the impact of preventive programs.  Lastly, by examining premature mortality rates, resources can be targeted toward strategies that will extend years of life.  Many of the causes of death are considered avoidable or preventable.

Top 5 Causes of Hospitalizations in South Carolina in 2016

  • Circulatory System Disease (which includes heart disease and stroke) – 85,725 people
  • Births and Pregnancy Complications – 57,467 people
  • Digestive System Disease – 47,435 people
  • Respiratory System Disease – 45,201 people
  • Injury and Poisoning – 41,390 people

Leading Causes of Death in South Carolina in 2016

  • Cancer – 10,349 people
  • Heart Disease – 10,183 people
  • Unintentional Injuries – 2,998 people
  • Chronic Lower Respiratory Disease – 2,873 people
  • Stroke – 2,627 people
  • Alzheimer’s Disease – 2,481 people
  • Diabetes Mellitus – 1,369 people
  • Kidney Disease – 902 people
  • Septicemia – 871 people
  • Suicide – 818 people

Potential Life Lost_SC Health Assessment

Premature deaths are described as deaths that occur before a person reaches the expected age of 75 years.  Years of potential life lost (YPLL) is a cumulative measure based on the average years a person would have lived if they had not died prematurely.

For more details about the leading causes of death and hospitalization in South Carolina, view the report.

South Carolina Health at a Glance: 2018 Live Healthy State Health Assessment Report

South Carolina’s first comprehensive State Health Assessment was drafted last year to create awareness about health issues and opportunities of improvement that impact the overall health of our state.  Because the report is 346 pages, we will tackle the report in upcoming blog posts and provide a brief summary of each section.

Stay tuned for more posts as we break down South Carolina’s health, page by page.

Whose idea was the South Carolina Health Assessment Report?

The Alliance for a Healthier South Carolina, a diverse group of more than 50 state and community leaders and organizations, serves as the backbone organization for Live Healthy South Carolina (LHSC). LHSC brings organizations and leaders together to assess population health outcomes, identify data-driven priorities, and recommend best practices that can be implemented at the state and local levels.   The SC Department of Health and Environmental Control (DHEC) is among this group, providing epidemiology information as well as compiling other health data.

What exactly is the South Carolina Health Assessment Report?

The Live Healthy South Carolina State Health Assessment is a comprehensive description of the health status of South Carolinians and will be used to inform health improvement plans at the state and community levels.  It also serves as a resource for organizations that need access to health data.

Why is this report necessary?

The findings in this assessment can help ensure the opportunity for South Carolina’s health and well-being is a priority.  For everyone who lives, works, worships, and vacations in our great state, the assessment can equip us to make better health decisions as well as meet the challenges of today and tomorrow by contributing to a culture of health that values every South Carolinian.

The assessment summarizes data from the following areas:  demographics, health indicators, leading causes of death and hospitalizations, cross-cutting, access to health care, maternal and infant health, chronic disease and risk factors, infectious disease, injury, physical environment, and behavioral health.

Although this is the first state assessment, the goal is to assess state-level health risk factors and outcomes every three to five years and use the data to identify priority areas to be addressed in South Carolina.

View the comprehensive report:  https://www.livehealthysc.com/uploads/1/2/2/3/122303641/sc_sha_full_report_nov.18.pdf