Government Agency Navigation

Women's Health USA 2013 An illustrated collection of current and historical data, published annually.

Usual Source of Care

Narrative

In 2009–2011, 86.8 percent of women and 77.7 percent of men reported having a usual source of care, defined as a place where one usually goes when sick, such as a physician’s office or health center but not an emergency department. Having a usual source of care has been shown to improve care quality and the receipt of preventive services.1

Health insurance coverage greatly increases the likelihood of having a usual source of care. Over 90 percent of women with private or public insurance coverage had a usual source of care, compared to only 56.2 percent of uninsured women. Having both a usual source of care and health insurance coverage has been found to significantly reduce problems obtaining needed medical care and delaying or forgoing needed care.2

Access to a usual source of care varies by race and ethnicity. For example, non-Hispanic White women were most likely to report a usual source of care (89.3 percent), while Hispanic women were least likely to do so (78.6 percent). Hispanic women are also least likely to have health insurance (find more at Health Insurance). Among women with private or public insurance, the proportion reporting a usual source of care was about 90 percent or higher for all racial and ethnic groups (data not shown in graph images or in data tables on this site).

Having a usual source of care also varies by age and is more common among older adults, who are most likely to have health insurance (find more at Health Insurance). For example, nearly all women aged 65 years and older (96.9 percent) had a usual source of care, compared to 78.6 percent of women aged 18–34 years. However, the likelihood of having a usual source of care increased with age even among those with private insurance: from 88.4 percent of women aged 18–34 years to 97.8 percent of those aged 65 years and older (data not shown in graph images or in data tables on this site).

1 Blewett LA, Johnson PJ, Lee B, Scal PB. When a usual source of care and usual provider matter: adult prevention and screening services. J Gen Intern Med. September 2008 [Epub Ahead of Print May 28, 2008];23(9):1354-60.

2 DeVoe JE, Tillotson CJ, Lesko SE, Wallace LS, Angier H. The case for synergy between a usual source of care and health insurance coverage. J Gen Intern Med. September 2011 [Epub Ahead of Print March 16, 2011];26(9):1059-66.

Back to top

Graph

Data

Usual Source of Care* Among Adults Aged 18 and Older, by Health Insurance Coverage** and Sex, 2009-2011
Health Insurance Coverage Percent of Adults, Female Percent of Adults, Male
*Defined as having a place where one usually receives care when sick, excluding emergency departments; all estimates are age-adjusted.
**Private coverage includes persons with any private insurance, either alone or in combination with public coverage; public includes those covered only by government programs such as Medicaid, Medicare, military plans, and state-sponsored health plans.
Source:Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, National Center for Health Statistics, National Health Interview Survey, 2009-2011. Analysis conducted by the Maternal and Child Health Bureau.
Private Insurance 93.5 87.5
Public Insurance 91.8 86.4
Uninsured 56.2 41.6
Total 86.8 77.7

Usual Source of Care* Among Women Aged 18 and Older, by Race/Ethnicity, 2009–2011

Percent of Women:

  • Non-Hispanic White 89.3
  • Non-Hispanic Black 85.3
  • Hispanic 78.6
  • American Indian/Alaska Native (May include Hispanics) 85.1
  • Asian (May include Hispanics) 85.7
  • Native Hawaiian/Other Pacific Islander (May include Hispanics) 85.2
  • Multiple Race (May include Hispanics) 82.3

*Defined as having a place where one usually receives care when sick, excluding emergency departments; all estimates are age-adjusted.

Source: Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. National Center for Health Statistics. Health Data Interactive. Accessed 08/15/13.