Participating in the healthcare system can be a daunting task for anyone. But especially for those in underserved populations.
Because healthcare is a necessity, becoming a part of the system is a necessity, as well. Nevertheless, utilizing healthcare services can be problematic and difficult. Even those of us who work as part of the healthcare system and purportedly have an inside track on knowledge and information often have a difficult time navigating the labyrinth.
For underrepresented, underserved populations, working through the maze of health insurance plans, co-pays, deductibles, in-network or out-of-network providers and the often prohibitive cost of treatment may thwart the regular use of services that, when there’s easy access, can help lower exacerbation of chronic conditions and lower costs.
Unfortunately, our healthcare system doesn’t always do a great job serving its customers. According to a 2022 survey, Americans give the healthcare system a D- and D+ for the cost of care and equitable care, respectively.