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» Analysis of the demographic characteristics and medical conditions of the uninsured utilizing a free clinic

Analysis of the demographic characteristics and medical conditions of the uninsured utilizing a free clinic

The number of medically uninsured people in the United States rose from 46 million in 2008 to an astonishing 50.7 million in 2009. This population is unable to seek medical care due, in part, to the decrease in employment-based health insurance and the increase in the cost of health care. Free health clinics exist to ensure access to health care by providing a safety net for underserved populations, ultimately decreasing health disparities among people of different socioeconomic statuses. The purpose of this study was to determine the demographic characteristics of the uninsured people who utilized a free health clinic and the purpose for their visits. Investigators gathered information from over 2,000 hand-written medical records to determine whether the demographic characteristics and health conditions of the uninsured differed from the general population. While there was no predominate medical condition in this population, special attention is needed to the prevention of smoking and obesity among the uninsured. This uninsured population had a significantly higher rate of smoking (P

J Community Health. 2012 Apr;37(2):501-6. doi: 10.1007/s10900-011-9470-7.

Notaro SJ, Khan M, Bryan N, Kim C, Osunero T, Senseng MG, Eiten M, Desai K, Nasaruddin M.