Tuolumne County Profile - Community Indicators Project 2008
Tuolumne County Profile Introduction Health and Safety Education and the Arts Natural Resources and Recreation Economy and Infrastructure Appendices Conclusion Acknowledgements

Access To Health Care Resources

Why is this important?

If health care resources are present in a community but only available to a select population with health insurance, then there is a problem with access to care. This measure is a critical way to determine if there is a disparity in the distribution and utilization of standard health care resources.

What is the measure?

The distribution of public and private health insurance and the number of uninsured reflects overall quality of health.15 In addition, hospitalization for certain health conditions, like diabetes, asthma and congestive heart failure (fluid retention due to a weak heart, also known as CHF), increases when people with these conditions have limited access to outpatient clinic care.16

How are we doing?

Private insurance coverage increased in Tuolumne County for persons 18 to 64 years of age while the number of people receiving Medi-Cal decreased. Approximately 3% fewer people were uninsured. Fewer than half of all health care providers treat Medi-Cal patients. The decrease in Medi-Cal coverage is probably due to stricter eligibility requirements. But, it is encouraging that the number of uninsured people decreased.

The uninsured rate is 12.5% for the overall population under 65 years of age. Approximately 20% of the Tuolumne County population is without insurance coverage for at least a portion of each year.

Hospitalizations for CHF (congestive heart failure) are decreasing steadily. However, hospitalizations for diabetes are increasing - possibly due to increasing incidence of the disease. Asthma hospitalizations in Tuolumne County are below the state average, but hospitalizations for diabetes and CHF are above average compared to the rest of California. This suggests room for improved access to outpatient care.

15 Priced Out: Health Care in California, California Department of Insurance 2005
16 Preventable Hospitalizations in California: Statewide and County Trends 1997-2003, Office of Statewide Health Planning and Development July 2005

Tuolumne County Health Care Insurance Coverage
Source(s): Department of Social Services MediCal Tracking: http://www.chis.ucla.edu

Tuolumne County Preventable Hospitalizations Number of Local Hospital Discharges
per 100,000 Residents

Tuolumne County Preventable Hospitalizations
Source(s): Discharge diagnoses, Sonora Regional Medical Center and Tuolumne General Hospital, 2005-2007; CA Department of Health Services, Healthy California 2010 Report 2000-2005 http://www.dhs.ca.gov/chs/OHIR/hp2010/hc2010progress.htm

Community Indicators Project
Tuolumne County - Central Sierra Mountains