Supporting Primary Care Access and Use among Homeless Persons

Soc Work Public Health. 2020 Jul 1;35(6):335-357. doi: 10.1080/19371918.2020.1809589. Epub 2020 Aug 30.


With the implementation of the Affordable Care Act (ACA), many homeless persons who previously lacked health insurance gained medical coverage. This paper describes the experiences of homeless persons in accessing and using primary care services, post-implementation of the ACA. Twenty-six semi-structured interviews were completed with homeless persons and primary care providers/staff. Via thematic analysis, themes were identified, categorized by: factors which influence primary care access and use patterns, and strategies to promote consistent primary care use. Maintaining insurance and leveraging systems-based strategies to support primary care access and use may address health disparities and promote health equity.

Keywords: Community-institutional relations; Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act; community mental health services; homeless persons; primary health care; qualitative research; substance-related disorders.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Health Services Accessibility*
  • Humans
  • Ill-Housed Persons*
  • Patient Acceptance of Health Care*
  • Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act
  • Primary Health Care*
  • United States