Polk County Indigent HealthCare Access Points
Polk County is designated as a medically underserved area. Medically Underserved Areas/Populations are designated by the Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA) as having high infant mortality, high elderly population, too few primary care providers or high poverty the last of which especially concerning Polk County. Polk is also a Health Professional Shortage area also designated by HRSA meaning the county has shortages in primary medical care, dental and mental health providers. The shortage may be geographic (a county or service area), population (e.g. low income or Medicaid eligible) or facilities (e.g. federally qualified health center or other state or federal prisons).
(U.S. Department of Health & Human Services: HRSA)
Polk County has a 2,061 : 1 ratio of residents to primary care physicians.
Polk County has a 3,540 : 1 ratio of residents to dental care providers.
Polk County has a 1,483 : 1 ratio of residents to mental health providers
Prior to 2004, very few of these access points existed for low income residents. Though indigent healthcare access points have increased, other types of care have been added. More people are being served, which offers some control over the cost of medical services.