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Corresponding Author

Hyun Kim

Abstract

In recent decades, the health care delivery system in the United States has been greatly transformed and more widely examined. Even with one of the most developed health care systems in the world, the United States still experiences great spatial disparity in health care access. Increasing diversity of class, culture, and ethnicity also has a significant impact on health disparity. The goal of this paper is to address the spatial disparity of health care access using a network-based health accessibility index method (NHAIM) in a Geographic Information System (GIS) environment. Ensuring a desired level of accessibility for patients is the goal of the health care delivery system, through which health care service providers are supplied to populations in need. GIS plays an increasing role in understanding and analyzing accessibility to health care by incorporating geographical physical barriers, network-based travel time, and transportation costs required for access to health care services. In this study, we develop a NHAIM to examine the spatial disparity in health care access in Hillsborough County, Florida, determining the locations of registered medical doctors and facilities using data from Medical Quality Assurance Services (MQA) and the U.S. Census. This research reveals the spatial disparity of health care accessibility and availability in this region and provides an effective method for capturing health care accessibility surplus and shortage areas for future health care service planning.

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