Access to Healthcare for People with Disability: Physical Accessibility of Primary Care Providers

Nancy Mudrick (SWK) PI, Xiafei Wang (SWK) co-I, and Julia Blackwell (MSW Student & Graduate Research Assistant), Disability Rights Education and Defense Fund (DREDF) / Pacific ADA Center, sub-award, 6/1/21-8/31/21.

This project, with Mary Lou Breslin of DREDF, seeks to learn the frequency and geographic distribution of disability-accessible medical examination equipment (MDE) in primary care offices, and match location of MDE to potential need. With audit data from Medicaid managed care participating practices in Los Angeles County, the number of practices with MDE within a zip code is mapped against the Census zip code count of persons with mobility impairments. Regression analysis is used to assess zip code population demographics as predictors of the presence/absence of MDE. The sparse number and distribution of MDE suggest that few patients with mobility impairments will receive healthcare using accessible MDE. This disability-related access barrier affects equity of care and is an essential social determinant of health disparities of people with disabilities.