The so-called safety net clinics, which were set in place with the intention of making medical care available to individuals who would otherwise not afford it, are at times failing their smoking patients. Research keeps indicating that individuals hailing from disadvantaged backgrounds are always more likely to smoke than others, hence why it is even more crucial that such clinics address smoking.
“We need to ensure that all patients, particularly in these settings, are getting access to the assistance that they need to help them to quit smoking,” said Bailey. The study also indicated that patients who have Medicaid, the government insurance for low-income individuals had a 17% higher chance of receiving the combination of counseling and medication, when compared to commercially-insured patients. Sadly, uninsured people had the lowest odds of receiving the combined treatment.
Largest study of its kind
Bailey pointed out that while other such studies have also used electronic health record data, this is the first study to examine predictors of smoking cessation assistance by analyzing such a large sample. The lead author added that her team plans to interview patients and providers whilst also observing clinic visits in order to better understand the situation and the circumstances under which a smoking addiction is not being addressed appropriately.
Read Further: Reuters