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Rodrigo Gonzalez Guillen

Major: Medical Sciences

Faculty Advisor: Peter Fuerst

Project Title:

Low Healthcare Use at a Free Community Clinic


Background: The state of Idaho has one of the highest uninsured percentages among its population and lags in 49th place for active physicians compared to other states. Despite the lack of available primary care providers, anecdotal evidence suggests an underutilization of available care opportunities, including at the Snake River Community Clinic (SRCC), a free clinic in Lewiston, Idaho. In this study, we see to identify the reasons SRCC has a low utilization rate. Methods: We developed a quantitative and qualitative survey to identify barriers to accessing care faced by people who utilized the clinic. We surveyed respondents about whether they had acquaintances who did not access care and their understanding of what these reasons were. Results: Quantitative results for individuals personal limiting factors indicated that work hours were more impactful for people than child care and safety. Quantitative results for the perception of limiting factors for others showed that lack of transportation appears to be what participants perceived as the main reason their relative or friend is not visiting the free clinic. Qualitative interviews further identified having no knowledge about the existence of Snake River Community Clinic as one of the main reasons people don’t visit the clinic. Conclusion: The quantitative and qualitative data demonstrate that there is more than one reason why people choose not to seek care at the free clinic. This study focused on people's personal obstacles when accessing a free clinic. Still, bigger forces also play a role in the low utilization rate of SRCC, like Idaho’s recently expanded Medicare access, which allows more people to seek care at a private clinic.

Funding: N/A

Campus Locations

Physical Address:
Bruce M. Pitman Center
875 Perimeter Drive MS 4264
Moscow, ID 83844-4264

Phone: 208-885-6111

Fax: 208-885-9119