Access to Health Care


Goal 1: Improve Access to and Utilization of Health care, Including Behavioral Health care 

Most Utahns will need some kind of health care during their life. Unfortunately, health care is unaffordable for many Utahns. Health insurance coverage covers all or some costs of care and protects people from very high expenses. People with health insurance are more likely than people without health insurance to regularly visit a primary health care provider and to have routine preventive care. Those without health insurance coverage and those who are under-insured often have to delay seeking care and find services difficult to afford.  Additionally, those living in poverty are at especially high risk for delaying care for conditions that eventually lead to hospitalization. Because these delays are associated with longer hospital stays and potentially poorer health outcomes, interventions that reduce delays are especially important.

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s technical packages on the prevention of violence, the following are the evidence-based, evidence informed, or promising approaches for increasing access to health care. Support policy changes that improve access and utilization of health care, including behavioral health care, early intervention, and health education.


1. Strengthen access and delivery of suicide care

        •       Coverage of mental health conditions in health insurance policies
        •       Reduce provider shortages in under-served areas
        •       Safer suicide care through systems change
        •       Enhanced primary care

2. Intervene to lessen harms and prevent future risk 

        •       Post-vention
        •       Safe reporting and messaging about suicide
        •       Hospital-community partnerships
        •       Treatment to prevent problem behavior and further involvement in violence

3. Support victims/survivors to lessen harms

        •       Victim-centered services
        •       Patient-centered approaches
        •       Treatment and support for survivors of interpersonal violence, child  maltreatment, and   teen dating violence
        •       Treatment to lessen harms of violence exposures
        •       Treatment for sexual violence victims
        •       Treatment for at-risk children/families to prevent problem behavior including sex offending
        •       Treatment to lessen harms of abuse and neglect exposure

4. Connect injury survivors with resources

Success is:

        Increasing the proportion of Utahns who report having medical insurance

        Decreasing the proportion of Utahns unable to access health care due to cost

        Increasing the proportion of Utahns with a usual primary care provider

        Decreasing the number of preventable hospital admissions