Suppose the United States’ healthcare system reforms its patient delivery paradigm to expand access to care and enhance clinical quality. In that case, it is witnessing improvements in response to the growing stress of chronic illness and the healthcare costs with mobile medical units. However, numerous diseases impact some groups overwhelmingly, owing to inequalities in healthcare coverage and social determinants of health. These inequalities are critical to addressing to improve our nation’s public wellbeing and reduce healthcare costs. Thus, it is critical for governments and health practitioners to implement novel approaches that treat chronic conditions sustainably, foster preventative health, and increase results in underserved populations and the general community.
This essay reviews the existing literature on Mobile Health Clinics (MHCs) and their present position in the United States healthcare system. The current body of knowledge indicates that MHCs effectively serve disadvantaged people by providing resources directly at the curbside in high-need areas and adjusting their services flexibly to the evolving requirements of the target demographic.
MHCs serve as a bridge between clinical and urban contexts, addressing both medical and social determinants of health and addressing community-wide health concerns. Additionally, research suggests that MHCs result in substantial cost reductions and represent an efficient model of care delivery that increases patient quality for underserved populations. Although MHCs will meet a variety of goals and mandates consistent with our national agendas. Also, it will have the ability to assist in addressing some of the more significant healthcare issues of this period. However, this healthcare delivery paradigm has shortcomings and challenges that must be tackled and resolved before being more fully adopted into our healthcare system.
Mobile health units are critical components of the health care system, and they provide care to some of society’s most disadvantaged communities. Mobile Health Map is the nation’s most comprehensive directory of mobile clinics. Members of this integrated study network and learning environment have data on their locations, programs, target audiences, and costs. Additionally, they have access to resources for assessing, improving, and communicating their effects.
Between 2007 and 2017, we analyzed data from 811 clinics that participated in Mobile Health Map to explain the clients’ profiles served by these clinics, their programs, and the affiliated organizations and funding sources of mobile clinics.
Annually, mobile clinics have an average of 3491 visits. Women (55 percent) and members of racial/ethnic minorities make up more than half of their clientele (59 percent ). In addition, 41% of clients at the 146 clinics registered health data were uninsured, while 44% had some public insurance. Primary care (41% ) and preventive were the most often used program models (47 percent ). Concerning organizational affiliations, they range from private (33%) to university-based (24%), while others (29%) are affiliated with a hospital or health care system. The majority of mobile clinics (52 percent ) obtain any funding from philanthropy, while just fewer than half (45 percent ) receive federal funds.
Mobile health care distribution is a groundbreaking form of health care delivery that reaches out to disadvantaged people for various programs. Clinics differ in terms of program offerings, consumer backgrounds, and connections to the fixed health system. While the Affordable Care Act has increased the path to care in recent years, challenges remain, especially for communities residing in resource-constrained regions. Mobile clinics will increase coverage by bridging the gap between the population and hospital services. However, additional analysis is needed to ensure the continued availability of this critical resource.
A growing body of evidence demonstrates that MHCs are a successful and cost-effective healthcare delivery model that is uniquely positioned to assess and meet the needs of underserved populations throughout the country. Mobile clinics effectively engage and gain the trust of vulnerable populations by driving directly into communities and opening their doors on the doorsteps of their target clients. MHCs have been shown to improve individual health outcomes, advance population health, and reduce healthcare costs compared to traditional clinical settings. MHCs can discuss both medical and social determinants of health and have the potential to play a vital role in our evolving healthcare plan.
Continuous research must be conducted to address the limitations and capacity of MHCs, improve the cost-effectiveness of MHC services. Also, to mine qualitative and quantitative data advocate for more widespread integration of MHCs into various health structures to combat some of the most significant healthcare challenges of this era.