Document Type

Capstone Experience

Graduation Date


Degree Name

Master of Public Health


Health Services Research & Administration

First Committee Member

Dr. Hongmei Wang, Ph.D

Second Committee Member

Ms. Molly McCleery, J.D.

Third Committee Member

Dr. Dejun Su, Ph.D


The goal of this Capstone Project is to better define and geographically locate the potential distribution of individuals who fall within the current Medicaid Coverage Gap and those populations who would be eligible for Medicaid under the expansion of Medicaid within the state of Nebraska. Using data from multiple United States Census Bureau sources, along with available data from the Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA), this project looks to also locate populations of these individuals that may live within established Medically Underserved Areas (MUA's) or Health Professional Shortage Areas (HPSA's) within the state. American Community Survey 5-year Public Use Microdata Sample (PUMS) datasets was used to understand the demographic breakdown of eligible Medicaid Coverage Gap individuals. Potential Medicaid Coverage Gap population percentages by county were also compared to existing topography of documented MUA's and HPSA's throughout the state to see where the most vulnerable and medically underserved populations exist within the state.

By better defining the population makeup of these individuals (by breakdown of gender, ethnicity, and age) that may fall within current Coverage Gap guidelines for Medicaid services, stakeholders may be able to better coordinate on approaches to working on state Medicaid Expansion efforts (e.g., targeting younger single-parent homes as a basis of population makeup who would benefit from Medicaid Expansion). The results of this Capstone Project will also aid various stakeholders in identifying locations throughout the state where Medicaid Expansion may not be sufficient in ensuring quality medical care is available and accessible to the populations in question. Stakeholders can work with policymakers, government officials, community agencies, healthcare organizations, community health centers, and other available resources to collaborate on approaches to bringing medical services and care to these individuals. Results from this Capstone Project can also be of note in comparisons of population and public health changes when looking at states that have opted to expand Medicaid and those that have not, namely Nebraska.