Preliminary results of a survey of York County health care needs finds those without insurance face the biggest barriers.
Access to dental care for those with Medicaid and no insurance was also deemed acute, according to researchers from Duke University.
The findings were presented Monday to about 50 community and nonprofit leaders by the Center for Health Policy and Inequities Research at Duke University.
A grant obtained by Catawba Care paid for the study.
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Catawba Care provides medical care and support services for people in York, Chester and Lancaster counties living with HIV/AIDS and works to educate the community to prevent the spread of HIV.
The study also found language barriers, a lack of awareness of health care options and a lack of focus on preventive care.
Many people use the emergency room for their primary care, said Susan Reif, a research associate for the Center for Health Policy and Inequities Research, who presented the findings.
Final results are expected to be presented later this summer.
The study focuses on Rock Hill and the areas around Saluda Street in particular, which have been determined to be medically underserved, Reif said.
An advisory committee has been overseeing the study since January.
The group might make recommendations to improve health care delivery to underserved populations, said Anita Case, executive director of Catawba Care.
One option is to expand that organization’s mission to include primary care, said Stephen Cooley, chairman of Catawba Care’s board of directors.
The study’s results also could be used by other organizations to improve health care, Case said.