Mid-America Regional Council Examines Health Across Region
The Mid-America Regional Council has produced a third edition of the Regional Health Assessment, an analysis of health data and trends in the Greater Kansas City region. The report covers two overlapping geographies – the REACH Healthcare Foundation’s six-county service area and the MARC region, which together encompass 11 counties: Cass, Clay, Jackson, Lafayette, Platte and Ray in Missouri, and Allen, Johnson, Leavenworth, Miami and Wyandotte in Kansas.
The report is divided into four sections, each with a series of issue briefs that outline key findings for particular topics:
Vulnerable Populations – Examines the socio-economic and demographic characteristics, such as age, race and poverty, that can cause people in the region to be medically vulnerable;
Health Insurance Coverage – Explores characteristics of the uninsured population in the region, including employment status, and examines early impacts of the Affordable Care Act;
Health Status and Disparities – Provides data on leading causes of death and other health trends, and examines disparities by geography and by race and ethnicity;
Access to Care – Discusses the accessibility of quality health care in the region, particularly for vulnerable populations, and the status of the health care workforce.
Together, the issue briefs in each section of the report, along with individual county profiles, form a comprehensive picture of the region’s overall health.
The data and analysis in each section present some key conclusions:
- Vulnerable populations (based on age, poverty, race and ethnicity and other situations) are increasing and are dispersing across the region;
- The number of uninsured in the region has shown a significant decline with the implementation of the health insurance marketplace that is a component of the Affordable Care Act;
- Health outcomes are generally improving, with declining mortality rates from chronic diseases, along with a reduction in preventable hospitalizations;
- Even with positive trends, health disparities persist across geography, race and ethnicity and income, presenting ongoing challenges;
- Rural areas are seeing an increase in their older adult population and health care workforce shortages, which contribute to poorer health outcomes;
- Many residents, particularly in rural counties, have limited access to a full complement of health professionals.
The Regional Health Data Assessment is available online. The online material includes printable documents, downloadable charts and the 11 county profiles.