Lack of health insurance coverage is a significant barrier to accessing needed health care.
Access to care requires not only having financial coverage but also access to providers. High rates of specialist physicians have been shown to be associated with higher and perhaps unnecessary utilization. However, having sufficient availability of primary care physicians is essential so people can receive preventive and primary care services, and when needed, referrals to appropriate specialty care.

Hospitalization for diagnoses amenable to outpatient services suggests that the quality of care provided in the outpatient setting is less than ideal. The measure may also represent the population’s tendency to overuse the hospital as a main source of care. 

Regular HbA1c screening (a lab test for blood glucose levels) among diabetic patients is considered the standard of care and provides an estimate of how well a patient has managed his or her diabetes over the past two to three months. When hyperglycemia is addressed and controlled, complications from diabetes can be delayed or prevented. 

Evidence suggests that mammography screening reduces breast cancer mortality, especially among older women. A physician’s recommendation or referral—and satisfaction with physicians—are major facilitating factors among women who obtain breast cancer screenings. The percent of women ages 40 to 69 receiving a mammogram is a widely endorsed quality of care measure.