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HLT 205 Week 6 Discussion Question Two

HLT 205 Week 6 Discussion Question Two

 

Describe the historical aspects and methods for identifying underserved populations. Discuss how you would improve these methods, track a population’s progression, and/or determine whether a population is no longer underserved.

Definitions of Vulnerable and Underserved Populations
The Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) characterizes underserved,
vulnerable, and special needs populations as communities that include members of
minority populations or individuals who have experienced health disparities.
• Latino populations
• African American populations
• AI/AN populations
• Refugees
• Individuals with limited English proficiency (LEP)
• Young adults and postsecondary graduating students who do not have coverage
options through a parent’s plan, a student plan, or an employer plan

HLT 205 Week 6 Discussion Question Two

HLT 205 Week 6 Discussion Question Two

• New mothers and women with children
• Individuals with disabilities
• Medicaid-eligible consumers who are not enrolled in coverage despite being
eligible for Medicaid
Underserved Populations
Here are some characteristics of vulnerable and underserved populations.
Vulnerable populations include consumers who share one or more of the following
characteristics.

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They may:
• Have a high risk for multiple health problems and/or pre-existing conditions
• Have limited life options (e.g., financial, educational, housing)
• Display fear and distrust in accessing government programs or disclosing
sensitive information about family members
• Have a limited ability to understand or give informed consent without the
assistance of language services (e.g., consumers with LEP or cognitive
impairments)
• Have mobility impairments
• Have a lack of access to transportation services
• Have a lowered capacity to communicate effectively
• Face any type of discrimination
Underserved populations include consumers who share one or more of the following
characteristics.
• Receive fewer health care services.
• Encounter barriers to accessing primary health care services (e.g., economic,
cultural, and/or linguistic).
• Have a lack of familiarity with the health care delivery system.
• Face a shortage of readily available providers.
Vulnerable Versus Underserved
The term vulnerable is often used interchangeably with underserved. While underserved
consumers have limited access to health care services, vulnerable consumers tend to
experience additional barriers to getting care.
For example, an individual with LEP is considered vulnerable but might not be
underserved (e.g., the consumer might have access to high-quality care).
Keep in mind that there’s considerable overlap among vulnerable and underserved
populations. Many consumers you serve may fall into both categories.

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