Study: Millions of chronically ill not getting care they need

A new study confirms what most in the provider arena already knew--that far too many patients with chronic conditions like diabetes or high blood pressure aren't getting the care they need because they lack health insurance. The study, published in the Annals of Internal Medicine, estimates that roughly one of every three uninsured, working-age adults--or about 11 million people--has been diagnosed with a chronic illness. Researchers concluded that many of these patients seldom see primary care doctors, with some relying instead on emergency rooms for their care.

In their survey, researchers found that almost one-quarter of the uninsured with a chronic illness hadn't visited a health professional within the last year, and about 7 percent said they typically went to an emergency room for care. This puts them at high risk for complications, given that, for example, people with high blood pressure can face catastrophic problems like a stroke if they don't get the right drugs or monitoring.

To learn more about the study:
- read this piece in The New York Times

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