Burden of chronic conditions among patients from free clinics: A retrospective chart review of 2015

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Journal of Health Care for the Poor and Underserved


Introduction. There is limited research about the poor and uninsured patients who visit free clinics. Methods. We conducted a retrospective chart review of uninsured adult patients in four free clinics seen between January and December 2015. Prevalence of chronic conditions and their association with socioeconomic factors were investigated. Results. In 2015, 3,196 adult patients with chronic conditions were managed in four free clinics. Many of these patients were women (60.8%) and Hispanic (44.7%); the group had a mean age of 47.9 years (SD=14.1) and a median income of $14,400. The top five prevalent conditions were hypertension (33.6%), hyperlipidemia (20.7%), diabetes (14%), major depression (11.7%), and arthritis (8.7%). In the multivariable analysis, clinic site, age, marital status, employment status, and household size were significantly associated with the Disease Burden Index. Discussion. Public health prevention programs should focus on uninsured patients of free clinics who are mainly low-income, sicker, and unemployed, and often women and Hispanics.

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