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Prevalence of Preexisting Conditions Among Community Health Center Patients With COVID-19: Implications for the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act

Background 

Short- and long-term effects of COVID-19 will likely be designated preexisting conditions. We describe the prevalence of preexisting conditions among CHC patients overall, and those with COVID-19 by race/ethnicity. This cross-sectional study used electronic health record (EHR) data from OCHIN, a network of 396 community health centers across 14 states. 

Useful Findings

Among all patients with COVID-19, 33% did not have a preexisting condition prior to the pandemic. Up to half of COVID-19-positive non-Hispanic Asians (51%), Hispanic (36%), and non-Hispanic Black (28%) patients did not have a preexisting condition prior to the pandemic. 

Bottom Line

The future of the ACA is uncertain and the long-term health effects of COVID-19 are largely unknown, therefore ensuring people with preexisting conditions can acquire health insurance is essential to achieving health equity.

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